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Uribe's HR sends Dodgers to NLCS
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Juan Uribe's two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth put the Los Angeles Dodgers back in the National League Championship Series for the first time since 2009.
Uribe's second career postseason go-ahead homer in eighth inning or later lifted the Dodgers over the Atlanta Braves, 4-3, in Game 4 of their National League Division Series.
Holding a 3-2 lead, the Braves sent David Carpenter (0-1) to the mound. Yasiel Puig led off with a double down the right-field line. Uribe then stepped to the plate and smacked a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left.
"This moment today I'll never forget," said Uribe.
Kenley Jansen tossed a perfect ninth to put the Dodgers in the NLCS for the third time in the past six years.
Los Angeles will play the winner of Wednesday night's Game 5 between St. Louis and Pittsburgh. The NLCS opens Friday night.
"We've moved one step closer, and we don't have to get back on a plane tomorrow. It's a good feeling," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.
In an effort to close out the series, the Dodgers sent left-hander Clayton Kershaw to the mound on short rest. Los Angeles had been slated to hand the ball to righty Ricky Nolasco, but opted to go with Kershaw, who was brilliant in Game 1.
Kershaw, the 2011 NL Cy Young Award winner and a favorite again this season, gave up two unearned runs on three hits while striking out six over six innings. The left-hander pitched on three days' rest for the first time since beginning his major league career in 2008.
Brian Wilson (1-0) picked up the win after stranding runners on first and second in the eighth.
Carl Crawford became the first Dodgers player to hit two homers in a postseason game since Shawn Green in the 2004 NLDS.
Chris Johnson and Andrelton Simmons had an RBI apiece for the Braves, who have lost six straight Division Series appearances.
Freddy Garcia got the start for Atlanta and gave up two runs on eight hits while striking out six over six innings.
"You don't want it to ever end the way we ended today. But we had the right guy out there. Carp has been good for us," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. "There is nothing to be ashamed of."
With the scored tied at two, the Braves scored once in the seventh. Ronald Belisario gave up a one-out triple to Elliot Johnson. Pinch-hitter Jose Constanza followed with an RBI single up the middle. J.P. Howell retired two of the next three batters to keep it a 3-2 game.
Crawford homered in each of his first two at-bats to give Kershaw some early run support. Crawford started the bottom of the first with a blast to right, becoming the second player in Dodgers history with a leadoff homer in a postseason game (Davey Lopes, 1978 versus the Yankees).
With one out in the third, Crawford smacked a 2-2 pitch down the right-field line. The crowed roared as the ball stayed fair for a 2-0 Los Angeles lead.
Kershaw was in control until the fourth, when his fielders made some key mistakes. Freddie Freeman led off with a single to right-center field. Evan Gattis followed with a grounder to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, whose throw to second was off the mark. The runners moved up to second and third on Kershaw's wild pitch.
After Brian McCann struck out looking, Chris Johnson hit an RBI single to left-center field. The tying run scored when Simmons grounded into a fielder's choice.
The last Dodger to start on short rest in the postseason was Derek Lowe, who allowed two runs on six hits in five innings in a no-decision in Game 4 of the NLDS on Oct. 13, 2008 vs. Philadelphia ... The Dodgers lost in five games to Philadelphia four years ago in the NLCS ... Atlanta hasn't won a postseason series since 2001 ... Uribe also hit a homer in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the 2010 NLCS for the San Francisco Giants against the Philadelphia Phillies, helping the Giants reach the World Series.
10/08 03:03:41 ET
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