NLDS: Howie Kendrick's grand slam lifts Nationals over Dodgers, into NLCS

The Washington Nationals greet Howie Kendrick (C) after his grand slam against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the tenth inning of Game 5 of the NLDS on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 10 (UPI) — Howie Kendrick blasted a tiebreaking grand slam in the 10th inning as the Washington Nationals overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-3 Wednesday night and advance to the NL Championship Series.

Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, making a relief appearance in the top of the eighth inning, blew the Dodgers’ 3-1 lead by allowing home runs to Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto on consecutive pitches.

The Nationals will open the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night at Busch Stadium. The Dodgers, who led the NL with 106 wins this season, continued their World Series title drought, which has lasted since 1988.

Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly walked Adam Eaton to start the 10th inning. Rendon hit a ground rule double to deep left before Soto was intentionally walked to load the bases with no outs.

On the second pitch of the at-bat, Kendrick jumped on a 97-mph fastball and sent a 410-foot shot over the center-field wall to give the Nationals a 7-3 lead and the victory.

Max Muncy had a two-run home run in the first inning and Enrique Hernandez added a solo shot in the second to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead early in the contest. After the second inning, Los Angeles recorded only two hits for the remainder of the game.

Washington starter Stephen Strasburg allowed three earned runs on six hits against the Dodgers. He notched seven strikeouts and walked one. Daniel Hudson was credited with the win for the Nationals.

Dodgers starter Walker Buehler pitched 6 2/3 innings and gave up one earned run on four hits. He tallied seven strikeouts and three walks.

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