The Associated Press
Brad Mills / USA TODAY Sports
WASHINGTON – Clayton Kershaw got the final two outs to earn his first major-league save and complete the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals in Game 5 to win their NL Division Series.
Entering with runners on first and second and one out in the ninth inning after 12:30 a.m. on Friday, Kershaw got Daniel Murphy to pop out and struck out Wilmer Difo to send LA to the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.
Kershaw was pitching two days after going 6 2/3 innings in Game 4. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner was making his first relief appearance since the 2009 playoffs.
Kershaw entered after regular Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen threw a career-high 51 pitches while getting a career-high seven outs after entering in the seventh.
LA trailed 1-0 before a four-run seventh off six Nationals pitchers, including Joc Pederson’s homer off Max Scherzer and Justin Turner’s two-run triple off Shawn Kelley.
The Dodgers won the last two games of the best-of-five NLDS and now head to the NLCS to face the Cubs. That opens at Wrigley Field on Saturday night.