Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw sits in the dugout after giving up back-to-back home runs to the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning in Game 5 of a baseball National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Photo: AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez
baseball

Kendrick slam in 10th lifts Nationals over Dodgers 7-3, and into NLCS

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Howie Kendrick hit a tiebreaking grand slam off Joe Kelly in the 10th inning, and the Washington Nationals overcame a three-run deficit with a late rally to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-3 Wednesday night and advance to the NL Championship Series against St Louis.

Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw blew a 3-1 lead by allowing homers to Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto on consecutive pitches in the eighth.

The wild-card Nationals open the NLCS at St Louis on Friday night. The seven-time defending NL West champion Dodgers, who led the NL with 106 wins, remain without a World Series title since 1988.

Adam Eaton walked against Kelly leading off the 10th, Rendon doubled on a drive that lodged in the left field wall and Soto was intentionally walked.

Kendrick fouled off a pitch, then hit a 97 mph fastball just over the wall in center for his second career slam. The other one was a game-ending, 11th-inning drive against San Francisco in August 2017.

Daniel Hudson got the win, retiring Will Smith on a drive to the right field warning track with one on and one out in the ninth, then getting Chris Taylor on a liner to center.

Sean Doolittle pitched the 10th for the Nationals.

The Nationals/Montreal Expos franchise won a postseason series for only the second time, the first since the Expos beat Philadelphia in a 1981 Division Series caused by the midseason players' strike.

CARDINALS 13, BRAVES 1

In Atlanta, the Cardinals turned the diamond into a giant pinball machine, dinging hits all over SunTrust Park. By the time the Atlanta Braves finally got the third out, it was the most productive first inning in postseason history.

The Cardinals scored 10 runs their first time up and dealt Atlanta another playoff heartbreak, routing the Braves 13-1 in decisive Game 5 of the NL Division Series on Wednesday.

"That was crazy," said Marcell Ozuna, one of five players who batted twice in the stunning outburst. "We got a good opportunity — and we took it."

After pitching seven scoreless innings in a Game 2 win, Mike Foltynewicz retired only one hitter before getting yanked. First baseman Freddie Freeman booted a potential double-play ball that might have limited the damage. The Cardinals scored their final run of the inning on a strikeout — a wild pitch in the dirt that skipped away from catcher Brian McCann.

"We just strung together a bunch of great at-bats," Wong said.

It was Atlanta's 10th straight postseason round loss since its last victory 18 long years ago, tying the ignominious mark set by the Chicago Cubs between 1908 and 2003.

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Let's Go Cardinals !!!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Both surprising results

The best team in the NL season by far is out after just 1 round. Kershaw never allowed back-to-back homers in the regular season in his career - yet he's now done that twice in the post-season

The Nationals were 19(W)-31(L) by May, and now they're playing for the penant, becoming the first team to win 2 playoff games while trailing multiple runs by the 8th inning

Never in the history of MLB has a team score 10 runs in the 1st inning of a playoff game, plus without hitting a single homerun, and now who would've thought the Cardinals would be hosting home-field advantage for the NL penant

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