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NLDS Game 4: Kershaw Leads LA To 6-5 Win; Force Game 5

during game four of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 11, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Clayton Kershaw during game four of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 11, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers kept mum about which starters they would choose for Game 4 until a short time before the first pitch was thrown. For the Dodgers, Dave Roberts chose ace LHP Clayton Kershaw who started the first game of the NLDS and took the mound on Tuesday on short rest. The Nationals and Manager Dusty Baker went to RHP Joe Ross who made his postseason debut.

The Nats entered Game 4 with a 2-1 series lead in hopes of clinching the club’s first trip to the National League Championship Series; but they will have to wait until Game 5 to try and clinch that as LA took the 6-5 win.

The Nats did get on the board with a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, Daniel Murphy continued his clutch postseason hitting with a RBI single to score rookie Trea Turner who has also been having an impressive postseason.

The Dodgers took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first with a two-run homer on a fly ball to right center.

In the top of the third the Nats tied the game at 2 with a sac fly by Murphy to once again score Turner.

With the game tied at 2 in the bottom of the third, Kershaw hit a leadoff double on a line drive to left. Chase Utley then struck out and Corey Seager popped out, but Justin Turner kept the inning alive with a RBI single to send Kershaw home and give LA the 3-2 lead. Ross then allowed back to back walks to Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Reddick to load the bases. The Dodgers then extended their lead to 4-2 when Ross hit Joc Pederson, sending him to first and walking in a run. That was enough for the Nats as they replaced Ross with Oliver Perez who got Yasmani Grandal to ground into a forced out and end the inning.

Ross’ day was over after 2.2 innings allowing four runs on three hits, walking two and striking out three.

LA extended their lead by another run when Joc Pederson hit a RBI double on a fly ball to left sending Josh Reddick home.

In the top of the 7th, Kershaw began to fatigue and the Nats took full advantage. Danny Espinosa started the inning with a leadoff single on a line drive and things started to look grim as Pedro Severino struck out and pinch-hitter Chris Heisey flew out. But, Trea Turner struck again with a single to put runners on 1st and 2nd. Bryce Harper then loaded the bases when he draw a walk off the left-hander. That was enough for the Dodgers as Kershaw was replaced by Pedro Baez.

Kershaw worked 6.2 innings allowing five runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out an impressive 11 batters.

However, Baez didn’t help the cause as he hit Jayson Werth with a pitch to walk Epinosa home for a 5-3 ballgame. Luis Avilan then replaced Baez and he also faltered as he allowed a two-run single by Daniel Murphy for a 5-5 tied game.

This “tug of war” wasn’t over just yet as the Nats took a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the 8th with a RBI single by Chase Utley.

The Dodgers and Nationals will meet for a decisive Game 5 on Thursday afternoon back in D.C. at Nationals Park.

Top Performers

Washington Nationals

Daniel Murphy: 2 for 3/ 4 RBIs

Trea Turner: 3 for 5/ 3R

LA Dodgers

Justin Turner: 1 for 3/ 2 R/ RBI

Joc Pederson: 1 for 3/ 2 RBIs

Bethany Cohen

Bethany Cohen

Senior Editor at Legends On Deck®
Bethany is a Graduate of the University of South Florida and currently resides in Tampa. She is a die-hard Yankees' fan and has been a freelance writer for six years. She has covered the Yankees' Minor League System since 2010 and also does freelance work for and CBS Local Tampa Bay. Follow her on Twitter @TampaBethany
Bethany Cohen