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Atlanta (1-3)000200100370
L.A. Dodgers (3-1) «10100002x4112

Uribe's blast in eighth sends Dodgers past Braves into NLCS

CBSSports.com wire reports
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LOS ANGELES -- Juan Uribe was unable to get a bunt down -- and it was the best thing that happened to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Uribe hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning after Clayton Kershaw started on short rest for the Dodgers in a 4-3 victory against the Atlanta Braves on Monday night that sent Los Angeles into the National League championship series for the first time since 2009.

Carl Crawford hit home runs his first two times up for the Dodgers, who won the best-of-5 playoff 3-1. The NL West champions will open the next round Friday against St. Louis or Pittsburgh.

The Cardinals will play host to the wild-card Pirates in a winner-take-all Game 5 on Wednesday.

"We've moved one step closer, and we don't have to get back on a plane tomorrow. It's a good feeling,'' Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.

Meanwhile, it was the latest October flop for Atlanta, which hasn't won a postseason series since 2001. During that stretch, the Braves have lost seven consecutive playoff series and the 2012 NL wild-card game.

Yasiel Puig doubled down the right-field line leading off the eighth against losing pitcher David Carpenter. The rookie charged into second base and pumped his right fist in the air.

Fans were on their feet chanting "Let's go Dodgers!'' when Uribe fouled off two bunt attempts. Then he sent a hanging 2-2 breaking ball into the Dodgers' bullpen in left field to put them in front for the second time.

"This moment today I'll never forget,'' Uribe said.

Brian Wilson pitched a scoreless eighth to get the victory. Kenley Jansen struck out all three batters in the ninth for a save, fanning Justin Upton to end it.

That set off a raucous celebration on the field by the Dodgers, who rushed toward the mound in a mob. They tore jerseys off each other in unbridled excitement and doused Uribe with a bright-colored sports drink.

"This team has a lot of fun. We don't think about being the team to beat and all that stuff. We just go out there and play and try to have fun,'' Crawford said.

Jansen and catcher A.J. Ellis leaped into each other's arms, and a burst of fireworks lit the sky in center field as blue and silver streamers cascaded from an upper level of the stadium.

The Dodgers lined up exchanging hugs in the infield, and co-owners Mark Walter and Magic Johnson grinned watching the revelry among the team they purchased last year.

Kershaw, Puig, Wilson and other players jogged around the warning track exchanging high-fives and hand slaps with delirious fans.

The Dodgers were criticized for jumping into the ballpark pool in Arizona when they clinched the NL West crown last month. This time, they got to party at home.

The Braves took a 3-2 lead in the seventh on pinch-hitter Jose Constanza's RBI single off reliever Ronald Belisario.

Needing a win to avoid elimination, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez never got the ball to lights-out closer Craig Kimbrel.

"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,'' Gonzalez said. "There is nothing to be ashamed of.''

The Dodgers gambled in bringing back Kershaw on three days' rest for the first time in his career. But with a chance to close out the series, they opted for their ace over scheduled starter Ricky Nolasco. The move paid off when the 2011 Cy Young Award winner tossed six solid innings before turning it over to the bullpen.

Kershaw squandered a 2-0 lead, giving up two unearned runs and three hits. He struck out six and walked one on 91 pitches.

With one out in the seventh, Elliot Johnson tripled into the right-field corner, sending Puig sliding into the dirt chasing the ball as it caromed off the wall. Constanza, batting for starting pitcher Freddy Garcia, singled into center, scoring Johnson to put the NL East champion Braves ahead for the first time.

Garcia allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked two.

The Braves tied it at 2 in the fourth, when the Dodgers' defense faltered.

Chris Johnson's RBI single scored Freddie Freeman, who singled leading off, went to second on first baseman Adrian Gonzalez's throwing error and advanced to third on a wild pitch by Kershaw.

Andrelton Simmons grounded into a fielder's choice to third in what should have been an inning-ending double play, but second baseman Mark Ellis' throw to Adrian Gonzalez went wide and Evan Gattis scored from third.

Crawford's second home run of the game came in the third, landing deep in the lower right-field seats for a 2-0 lead.

Crawford led off the first with a towering home run to the right-field pavilion, smiling broadly as the Dodgers took a 1-0 lead. His three-run shot -- and Uribe's two-run drive -- were a big part of their 13-6 victory in Game 3 on Sunday.

"I'm just trying to stay square,'' Crawford said.

The sellout crowd of 54,438 grew rowdy with Kershaw's first pitch, quickly getting on its feet to urge him on after Adrian Gonzalez's fielding error led to the left-hander's first baserunner. Kershaw responded by retiring the next three batters in a row to end the first.

"To end the way it did tonight, it's going to hurt. It's going to be a long way back,'' Fredi Gonzalez said. "But tip your hat to the Dodgers and congratulate Donnie and his staff. The sad thing is there are no more games, you know?''

Notes

The Dodgers lost in five games to Philadelphia four years ago in the NLCS. ... The last Dodgers pitcher to start on short rest in the playoffs was Derek Lowe, who allowed two runs and six hits in five innings of a no-decision in Game 4 of the NLCS on Oct. 13, 2008, against Philadelphia. ... Crawford's leadoff home run was the second in Dodgers postseason history. Davey Lopes hit a home run leading off Game 6 of the 1978 World Series. He's now the first base coach for the team. ... Kershaw allowed seven unearned runs during the regular season, all of them at Dodger Stadium.

 
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Kenley Jansen gets the save as the Dodgers punch their ticket to the NLCS with a win over the Braves. (USATSI)
Kenley Jansen gets the save as the Dodgers punch their ticket to the NLCS with a win over the Braves. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

J. Uribe
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Atlanta

C. Johnson
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jason Heyward, CF5000031 .167
Justin Upton, RF-LF3000211 .143
Freddie Freeman, 1B4110014 .313
Evan Gattis, LF4100011 .357
   Paul Janish, 2B0000000 .000
Brian McCann, C4000042 .000
Chris Johnson, 3B4031000 .438
Andrelton Simmons, SS4011011 .250
Elliot Johnson, 2B4110004 .071
   David Carpenter, P0000000 .000
Freddy Garcia, P2000000 .000
   a-Jose Constanza, PH10110001.000
   Luis Avilan, P0000000 .000
   Jordan Schafer, RF1000010 .000
Totals36373212  
a-singled for Garcia in the 7th
Batting
3B - Elliot Johnson (1, Belisario)
RBI - Chris Johnson (5), Andrelton Simmons (2), Jose Constanza (1)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Johnson-Johnson-Freeman
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Freddy Garcia 6822262 3.00
Luis Avilan (H,2) 1100100 0.00
David Carpenter (L,0-1; BS,1) 1222001 13.50
IBB - Schumaker by Freddy Garcia, H. Ramirez by Luis Avilan
Pitches-Strikes - Freddy Garcia 101-67, Luis Avilan 20-9, David Carpenter 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Freddy Garcia 8-2, Luis Avilan 1-2, David Carpenter 1-2
Batters Faced - Freddy Garcia 26, Luis Avilan 5, David Carpenter 5
Los Angeles (N.L.) Dodgers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Carl Crawford, LF3222100 .353
Mark Ellis, 2B4020011 .267
Hanley Ramirez, SS3010112 .500
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B4010004 .333
Yasiel Puig, RF4120002 .471
Juan Uribe, 3B4122010 .375
Skip Schumaker, CF3010100 .231
A.J. Ellis, C4000023 .333
Clayton Kershaw, P2000010 .000
   Ronald Belisario, P0000000 .000
   J.P. Howell, P0000000 .000
   a-Michael Young, PH1000000 .333
   Brian Wilson, P0000000 .000
   b-Andre Ethier, PH1000000 .000
   Kenley Jansen, P0000000 .000
Totals33411436  
a-flied out for Howell in the 7th
b-grounded out for Wilson in the 8th
Batting
2B - Mark Ellis 2 (2, Garcia), Yasiel Puig (1, Carpenter), Juan Uribe (1, Garcia)
HR - Carl Crawford 2 (3, Garcia), Juan Uribe (2, Carpenter)
RBI - Carl Crawford 2 (5), Juan Uribe 2 (4)
SB - Carl Crawford (1, 2nd base off Garcia/McCann), Hanley Ramirez (1, 2nd base off Garcia/McCann)
CS - Yasiel Puig (1, 2nd base by Garcia/McCann)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Adrian Gonzalez 2 (2, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles (N.L.) Dodgers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Clayton Kershaw 6320160 0.69
Ronald Belisario 0.1211000 9.00
J.P. Howell 0.2000110 0.00
Brian Wilson (W,1-0) 1200020 0.00
Kenley Jansen (S,1) 1000030 0.00
WP - Clayton Kershaw (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Clayton Kershaw 91-61, Ronald Belisario 10-7, J.P. Howell 9-4, Brian Wilson 23-14, Kenley Jansen 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clayton Kershaw 8-6, Ronald Belisario 1-0, J.P. Howell 1-0
Batters Faced - Clayton Kershaw 24, Ronald Belisario 3, J.P. Howell 3, Brian Wilson 5, Kenley Jansen 3
Game Information
Attendance - 54438
Game Time - 3:19
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - Tim Welke, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Hunter Wendelstedt