LOS ANGELES — Howie Kendrick hit a tiebreaking grand slam off Joe Kelly in the 10th inning, and the Washington Nationals overcame a three-run deficit with a late rally to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-3 Wednesday night and advance to the NL Championship Series against St. Louis.
Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw blew a 3-1 lead by allowing homers to Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto on consecutive pitches in the eighth.
The wild-card Nationals open the NLCS at St. Louis on Friday night. The seven-time defending NL West champion Dodgers, who led the NL with 106 wins, remain without a World Series title since 1988.
Adam Eaton walked against Kelly leading off the 10th, Rendon doubled on a drive that lodged in the left field wall and Soto was intentionally walked.
Kendrick fouled off a pitch, then hit a 97 mph fastball just over the wall in centre for his second career slam. The other one was a game-ending, 11th-inning drive against San Francisco in August 2017.
Daniel Hudson got the win, retiring Will Smith on a drive to the right field warning track with one on and one out in the ninth, then getting Chris Taylor on a liner to centre.
Sean Doolittle pitched the 10th for the Nationals.
The Nationals/Montreal Expos franchise won a post-season series for only the second time, the first since the Expos beat Philadelphia in a 1981 Division Series caused by the midseason players’ strike.
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Beth Harris, The Associated Press