Kiké Hernandez Clobbers The Cubs To Clinch NLCS For Los Angeles

CHICAGO (AP)   —   Kiké Hernandez homered three times and drove in seven runs, and the Los Angeles Dodgers romped past the Chicago Cubs 11-1 on Thursday night behind Clayton Kershaw to reach the World Series for the first time in almost three decades.

Kershaw breezed through six crisp innings and Cody Bellinger had three hits as Los Angeles ended Chicago’s title defense with a dominant performance in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series.

Hernandez connected on the first two pitches he saw, belting a solo drive in the second against Jose Quintana and a grand slam in the third against Hector Rondon. Hernandez added a two-run shot in the ninth against Mike Montgomery.

GALLERY: Highlights From Game 5

It’s the first pennant for one of baseball’s most storied franchises since Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda managed Los Angeles to its last championship in 1988.

The Dodgers will host the Yankees or Astros in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night.

The Yankees have a 3-2 lead in the ALCS heading into Game 6 at Houston on Friday night, so one more New York win would set up another chapter in an old October rivalry between the Yankees and Dodgers.

The Dodgers made the playoffs eight times in the previous 13 seasons and came up short each time, often with Kershaw shouldering much of the blame. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner took the loss when Los Angeles was eliminated by the Cubs in Game 6 of last year’s NLCS at Wrigley Field.

He was just OK in his first two starts in this year’s postseason, but Los Angeles’ loaded lineup picked him up each time. Backed by Hernandez’s powerful show in Chicago, Kershaw turned in an efficient three-hit performance with five strikeouts in his sixth career playoff win — matching Burt Hooton for the franchise record.

When Kenley Jansen retired Willson Contreras on a liner to shortstop for the final out, the party was on. The Dodgers poured out of the dugout and mobbed their dominant closer near the mound, and a small, but vocal group of Los Angeles fans gathered behind the visitor’s dugout and chanted “Let’s go Dodgers! Let’s go Dodgers!”

(@Copyright 2017. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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