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Hernandez belts 3 HRs as Dodgers win NL pennant

The Sports Xchange
October 19. 2017 11:40PM
The Los Angeles Dodgers' Enrique Hernandez celebrates his grand slam in the third inning of Thursday's Game 5 of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Thursday. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

CHICAGO — Enrique Hernandez homered three times, including a grand slam, and drove in seven runs, and Clayton Kershaw pitched six strong innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers won their first National League pennant since 1988 with a 11-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night.

Los Angeles closed out the NL Championship Series against the defending World Series champions in five games. The Dodgers will face either New York Yankees or Houston Astros in the World Series with Game 1 scheduled for Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.

Staked to an early comfortable lead, Kershaw (1-0) allowed one run, three hits and a walk while striking out five.

Hernandez capped in the scoring in the ninth inning with a two-run blast as the Los Angeles left fielder tied a league championship series record with his seven RBIs.

The Dodgers scored first for the first time in the series and jumped out to a 9-0 lead after three innings. Hernandez followed up his second-inning solo home run with a grand slam in the third after the Dodgers loaded the bases off Cubs starter Jose Quintana with four straight hits.

After Quintana was lifted in the third, reliever Hector Rondon struck out Logan Forsythe for the first out of the inning. Hernandez then lifted his second homer of the night into the basket above the right field wall to break the game open.

Justin Turner also had an RBI single in the inning.

Quintana surrendered six runs on six hits in two-plus innings. He walked one and fanned one.

The Dodgers padded their lead in the fourth on Forsythe’s two-run double off John Lackey.

Kris Bryant finally got the Cubs on the board in the fourth inning when he homered after Kershaw had held Chicago without a hit for 3 1/3 innings.

Los Angeles took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. After drawing a leadoff walk, Chris Taylor scored on Cody Bellinger’s RBI double. Bellinger advanced to third on the throw home, but Quintana limited the damage by retiring the next two hitters.

NOTES: Dodgers 3B Justin Turner extended his postseason streak of reaching safely to eight games with a RBI single in the second inning. Turner has reached safely in 23 of his past 24 postseason games since Oct. 9, 2015. .... Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw earned his sixth career postseason victory, which tied Burt Hooton for the most in franchise history. ... Cubs president Theo Epstein defended manager Joe Maddon, who was taking heat for some of his decision-making in managing the bullpen during the NLCS. “It’s not manager against manager,” Epstein said before Thursday’s game. “That stuff just gets under the microscope so much this time of year. It’s (about) players performing.” ... Former Cubs catcher David Ross, who was a member of the 2016 World Series championship team, threw out the ceremonial first pitch Thursday.


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