Dodgers season ends with Game 5 loss

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The winningest regular season in Los Angeles
Dodgers history was followed by a loss in a National League Division Series, as
former Dodger Howie Kendrick hit a 10th-inning grand slam to give the
Washington Nationals a 7-3 victory tonight at Dodger Stadium.
“Obviously very, very, disappointing is probably an understatement,”
said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, whose team won a franchise-record 106
games in the regular season. “But I think it’s just one of those things that
we got beat and just disappointed for everyone.”
Roberts said he would have “no problem” if the blame for the loss
falls on him.
“I feel that my job is to put guys in the best position to have
success and if it doesn’t work out, there’s always going to be second-guessing
and I got no problem wearing the brunt of that,” Roberts said.
The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run homer by
their second batter, Max Muncy, and increased their lead to 3-0 on Kike
Hernandez’s second-inning homer in the decisive game of the best-of-five
series.
However, the Dodgers were held to three hits over the final 10 innings
as they lost the series, three games to two.
The Nationals tied the score on home runs on consecutive pitches by
Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto on consecutive pitches off Clayton Kershaw in the
eighth inning.
Roberts took out starter Walker Buehler after he walked Trea Turner on
his 117th pitch to put runners on first and second with two outs in the
seventh and replaced him with Kershaw.
“Once he walked Turner … I thought Walker had had enough,” Roberts
said. “I thought he emptied the tank. So to get Clayton to get us out of
that spot, I felt good about it.”
Kershaw struck out Adam Eaton to end the inning, but allowed home runs
to the first two batters he faced in the eighth.
Kenta Maeda relieved Kershaw, striking out the next three batters
before a sellout crowd announced at 54,159.
Roberts pinch-hit for Maeda in the bottom of the eighth. Joe Kelly
took the mound for the Dodgers in the ninth and retired the side in order.
Kelly walked Eaton, the leadoff hitter in the 10th, then allowed a
ground-rule double to the next batter, Rendon. Soto was walked intentionally to
load the bases.
Roberts said he kept Kelly in the game because “I just felt that Joe
had a good chance to” get Kendrick to hit a ground ball and then potentially
have Kenley Jansen face Ryan Zimmerman.
The 36-year-old Kendrick who was hitless in his four at-bats Wednesday
before hitting an 0-1 fastball for the third postseason home run of his
career. The others came with the Los Angeles Angels in Game 3 of the 2009
American League Championship Series and with the Dodgers in Game 3 of a
National League Division Series.
Daniel Hudson, the fourth of five Washington pitchers, pitched a
shutout ninth for the victory. Sean Dolittle retired the side in order in the
10th to end the game and give the Nationals their first victory in a postseason
series. They had lost four division series, three in Game 5, including in 2016
to the Dodgers.
Kelly, the fourth of five Dodger pitchers, was charged with the loss.
Washington will face the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League
Championship Series, which will begin Friday in St. Louis. The Cardinals
defeated the Atlanta Braves, 13-1, Wednesday in Atlanta to win their division
series, three games to two.
Buehler allowed one run and four hits in 6 2/3 innings, struck out
seven, walked three and hit a batter. Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg
allowed three runs and six hits in six innings, struck out seven and walked
one.
Joc Pederson led off the first for the Dodgers with what was initially
ruled a home run, but the call was overturned following an umpire review
and it was determined to be a ground-rule double. Muncy followed by hitting a 3-
1 fastball for his third homer of the series.
Soto singled in Rendon, who doubled, in the sixth for Washington’s
first run.
The Dodgers have won seven consecutive National League West titles but
have not won the World Series since 1988. They lost the World Series in
each of the past two seasons. The Dodgers have never reached the World Series
in three consecutive seasons.

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