Dodgers overcome Nationals in game five
The Los Angeles Dodgers overcame the Washington Nationals in game five of the National League (NL) Division Series.
A four-run seventh inning saw the Dodgers to their 4-3 victory over the Nationals in Washington on Thursday, sealing a 3-2 series win.
Joc Pederson homered, Carlos Ruiz had an RBI single and Justin Turner a two-run triple for the Dodgers.
Rich Hill lasted just 2.2 innings in his start, while Max Scherzer struck out seven through six.
Clayton Kershaw was needed out of the bullpen for the final two outs and the save.
The Dodgers' win sees them advance to the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.
MOMENTUM SHIFTS, JANSEN DELIVERS
Two pitches swing momentum to Dodgers. One pitch before Nationals starter Scherzer served up a game-tying homer to Dodgers slugger Pederson, Nationals third base coach Bob Henley and Jayson Werth made a bad decision to try to score from first base on a double to left with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning and Washington leading 1-0. Werth was turning for home as the throw from left fielder Andrew Toles was caught by cutoff man Corey Seager, who easily threw home to get Werth out by more than 10 feet. The play ended the inning but the Dodgers used the momentum to score four runs in the top of the seventh as Ruiz and Turner joined Pederson with RBI hits.
Wild moves pay off for Dodgers. Even the unconventional Terry Francona has not used his closer as early as Roberts did to protect a one-run lead in the seventh. After Grant Dayton allowed a two-run homer to Chris Heisey, Roberts called on Kenley Jansen to attempt to finish the game. Jansen pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh, pitched around a leadoff walk in the eighth but after walking Werth with a career high 51st pitch in the ninth, he was pulled for Kershaw, who threw 110 pitches just two days prior. With runners on second and third, Kershaw got the red-hot Daniel Murphy to fly out before striking out Wilmer Difo with his signature curveball. It was Kershaw's first postseason relief appearance since 2009.
Scherzer makes one mistake. Looking to bounce back from a game-one loss, Scherzer carried a no-hitter into the fifth, where he escaped a bases loaded jam after allowing three consecutive hits. Unfortunately for the Cy Young Award nominee, his home run tendencies came back to bite him with the first pitch in the seventh inning. Scherzer, who allowed the most home runs in the NL during the regular season, watched Pederson crush a fastball on his 99th pitch of the game over the left field wall to tie the game at one. Scherzer scattered five hits in six innings of work with seven strikeouts.
Turner gave the Dodgers a 4-1 lead in the seventh with a two-run triple belted over the head of Nationals outfielder Trea Turner.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES STARTS
The Toronto Blue Jays are at the Cleveland Indians in the opening game of their series. Marco Estrada (9-9, 3.48 ERA) starts for the Blue Jays against the Indians' Corey Kluber (18-9, 3.14 ERA).