Cody Bellinger lined a one-out, go-ahead single in the top of the ninth inning Thursday night, sending the Los Angeles Dodgers to the National League Championship Series with a 2-1 victory over the host San Francisco Giants in Game 5 of the NL Division Series.
In a contest that would be the season’s last for one of the two winningest teams in the majors, the Dodgers rode Mookie Betts’ 4-for-4 performance and the combined six-hitter of six pitchers to the fifth NLCS berth in six years.
Los Angeles will visit the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series on Saturday.
After the Dodgers and Giants traded runs in the sixth inning, Justin Turner got the Los Angeles ninth rolling when he was hit by a pitch from Camilo Doval (0-1) with one out.
Gavin Lux moved Turner to second with a single, and when Bellinger knocked his hit into center field, Turner dashed home with the decisive run.
After closer Kenley Jansen (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth, Cy Young Award candidate Max Scherzer came out of the Dodgers’ bullpen and overcame a one-out error by third baseman Turner in the ninth for his first career save.
The expected pitchers’ duel between Giants right-hander Logan Webb and Dodgers lefty Julio Urias panned out, even after Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts threw a curveball into the equation by starting right-hander Corey Knebel.
Knebel and righty Brusdar Graterol did their part for Roberts, combining for two scoreless innings to start the contest, before the Webb-Urias duel began.
The Dodgers scored first in the sixth when Betts singled with one out, stole second and trotted home on an opposite-field double by Corey Seager.
Webb escaped further damage, and six pitches later, Darin Ruf’s leadoff homer off Urias knotted the game again at 1-1. The 452-foot bomb to center field was the veteran’s first career postseason home run.
Urias, the winning pitcher in Game 2 of the series, was pulled after four innings, having allowed one run and three hits. He walked five and did not walk anyone.
Webb, who pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings in Game 1, was charged with one run on four hits in his seven innings. He struck out seven and walked one.
All four of Betts’ hits were singles for the Dodgers, the defending World Series champions who rallied from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits in the series.
Kris Bryant had two hits for the Giants, who were the winningest team in the majors in the regular season with 107 victories. The Dodgers won 106 games in the regular season.