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Dodgers beat Braves 4-3 to clinch NLDS

LOS ANGELES — Juan Uribe hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning after Clayton Kershaw started on short rest for the Dodgers in a 4-3 victory over the Braves on Monday night, sending Los Angeles into the National League Championship Series for the first time since 2009.

Yasiel Puig doubled down the rightfield line leading off the eighth against David Carpenter. The rookie charged into second base and pumped his right fist in the air in celebration. Fans were on their feet chanting "Let's go Dodgers!" when Uribe fouled off two bunt attempts, then sent a 2-and-2 pitch into the Dodgers' bullpen in leftfield to put them in front for the second time.

Brian Wilson pitched the eighth to get the victory. Kenley Jansen came on in the ninth to earn the save.

Former Ray Carl Crawford had given the Dodgers an early lead with solo home runs in the first and third innings, giving him three in the past two games. Crawford also walked and stole a base and batted .353 in the series.

Kershaw was brought back after pitching the series opener on Thursday, replacing Ricky Nolasco. Kershaw, the 2011 NL Cy Young Award winner and a favorite again this season, was pitching on three days' rest for the first time since his 2008 major-league debut.

Kershaw did his part with six strong innings, allowing three hits and two runs, both unearned thanks to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez's error in the fourth.

"You want your best chance to win, and this really we feel like gives us the best chance to win," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said before the game.

Mattingly said the possibility of using Kershaw in Game 4 was first discussed when the team knew it had made the playoffs, then saw the NLDS schedule, which included two offdays.

Dodgers beat Braves 4-3 to clinch NLDS 10/07/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 1:21am]
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