LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A stellar performance by Clayton Kershaw today put the Los Angeles Dodgers one victory away from their second consecutive World Series appearance.
Kershaw limited the Milwaukee Brewers to one run and three hits over seven innings and retired the final 13 batters he faced in the Dodgers 5-2 victory at Dodger Stadium that gave them a three games to two lead in the National League Championship Series.
Game 6 of the best-of-seven series will be played Friday at Milwaukee's Miller Park. Game 7, if necessary, would be played Saturday, also at Miller Park.
Teams with a 3-2 lead in a best-of-seven NLCS have a 15-6 series record. Teams trailing 3-2 with Games 6 and 7 scheduled at home have a 4-8 record.
The Dodgers have a 5-1 record when taking a 3-2 lead in a best-of- seven series. The only loss came in the 1952 World Series when they were based in Brooklyn and faced the New York Yankees.
Kershaw struck out nine and walked two in his first appearance since his shortest postseason start. Kershaw allowed five runs, four earned, and six hits in three innings in Friday's 6-5 loss in Game 1 at Miller Park.
“Other than wanting to pitch, I don't really think about the one before,” Kershaw said after improving his career postseason record to 9-8. “And after this one I'm not going to think about this one, either.”
The Dodgers broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the sixth. Justin Turner led off with a single and moved to second one out later when Manny Machado was hit by a pitch. Max Muncy singled in Turner and advanced Machado to second. Yasiel Puig's two-out pinch-hit single drove in Machado.
The Dodgers added two runs in the seventh. Turner singled in Kershaw, who walked with one out. Cody Bellinger, who doubled, scored on pinch-hitter Brian Dozier's ground out before a crowd announced at 54,502.
The Brewers opened the scoring in the third. Orlando Arcia singled with one out, moved to second when reliever Brandon Woodruff drew a walk from Kershaw and scored on Lorenzo Cain's double.
Milwaukee got back-to-back doubles from Jesus Aguilar and pinch-hitter Curtis Granderson off Ryan Madson with two outs for a run in the ninth. Kenley Jansen, the fifth Dodger pitcher, struck out Chatsworth High School alumnus Mike Moustakas to end the game for his third save of the 2018 postseason.
The Dodgers out-hit the Brewers 9-5. The Dodgers were four-for-13 with runners in scoring position after going six for 30 over the first four games in the series. Milwaukee was two-for-five with runners in scoring position. The Dodgers left seven runners on base, the Brewers four.
Milwaukee starter Wade Miley walked Bellinger, the Dodgers leadoff hitter, on five pitches in the bottom of the first, then was replaced by Woodruff.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell confirmed after the game that the “plan all along” was to replace Miley with Woodruff after one batter and have Miley start Game 6.
Woodruff, the second of six Milwaukee pitchers, was charged with the loss, allowing three runs, two earned, and five hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out eight.
The is the first time the Brewers have lost back-to-back games since Sept. 15-16. Milwaukee entered the NLCS with an 11-game winning streak, which it extended to 12 games with a 6-5 victory in Game 1. The Brewers have lost three of four games since then.
The Dodgers last made back-to-back World Series appearances in 1977 and 1978, losing to the Yankees both times.
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