Dodgers Return to World Series
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Yasiel Puig and Cody Bellinger flexed their muscles. Chris Taylor flashed some leather.
Then the Los Angeles Dodgers got a lift from ace Clayton Kershaw out of the bullpen to finish off the Milwaukee Brewers and return to the World Series.
Puig broke open a tight contest with a three-run homer in the sixth inning, Taylor robbed Christian Yelich with a super catch and the Dodgers took Game 7 of the NL Championship Series with a 5-1 win on Saturday night.
It's off to Fenway Park for a showdown against the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday.
"It's pretty cool. It's going to be a pretty special series," said Bellinger, chosen as the NLCS MVP.
Los Angeles hasn't won the World Series since 1988. The Dodgers and Red Sox have met once before in the World Series, back in 1916 with Boston beating Brooklyn behind a big game from pitcher Babe Ruth.
Kenley Jansen tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings before yielding to Kershaw in the ninth. The three-time Cy Young Award winner, pitching on two days of rest after starting Game 5, finished off the Brewers by striking out Mike Moustakas in a perfect ninth.
Kershaw's teammates mobbed the lefty near the mound after the final out, and the celebration was just beginning for the Dodgers.
"I'm just so proud of our guys for enduring this roller coaster of a season," manager Dave Roberts said.
What a surge for a team that was 10 games under .500 on May 16.
The Dodgers have talked about having unfinished business after losing Game 7 of the World Series last year to the Houston Astros.
Now they've made baseball's final series of the year in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1977-78.
"I know how lucky I am to be a part of it two years in a row," Bellinger said.
With their 23rd pennant, the Dodgers have matched the rival Giants for most among NL teams.