Braves season ends with loss to Dodgers
Falcons fall to 1-4 on the season
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LOS ANGELES -- Juan Uribe can't bunt, but the Los Angeles Dodgers don't mind.
After failing to get down a sacrifice bunt, Uribe worked his way back from an 0-2 count and hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning Monday, lifting the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves and a three-games-to-one victory in the National League Division Series.
The Dodgers await the winner of the other NLDS. The Pittsburgh Pirates will play Game 5 in St. Louis against the Cardinals on Wednesday. Game 1 of the NL Championship Series will be Friday in St. Louis or Los Angeles.
Thanks to a pinch-hit RBI single by Jose Constanza in the seventh inning, the Braves led 3-2 going into the eighth inning. Yasiel Puig doubled off Braves reliever David Carpenter (0-1) to start the inning, bringing up Uribe, who fouled off his first two bunt attempts.
With the count 2-2, Uribe crushed a pitch from Carpenter, driving it into the Dodgers bullpen in left field and sending the sellout crowd at Dodger Stadium into a frenzy.
Uribe's heroics helped the Dodgers -- and manager Don Mattingly in particular -- avoid the second-guessing of sending Clayton Kershaw to the mound on three days' rest. Kershaw gave up two unearned runs in six innings, and he left with the game tied at 2.
Braves starter Freddy Garcia pitched well, allowing two runs on two solo homers by Carl Crawford.
Kershaw, after 91 pitches, handed the ball over to the bullpen to start the seventh inning, and the Braves swiftly took advantage of his absence.
Elliot Johnson was 0-for-12 in the series when he came to the plate with one out and the bases empty. He ripped a line drive into the right field corner off reliever Ronald Belisario. Puig had trouble tracking down the ball in the right field corner, and Johnson cruised into third with a standup triple.
Constanza followed with a single to center field, breaking the tie.
Kershaw allowed just three hits, two of them by Chris Johnson, who added a third hit in the eighth inning.
Kenley Jansen struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth inning for the save.
Crawford hit his first home run leading off the bottom of the first, becoming the first Dodger to lead off the game with a homer since Davey Lopes did it in Game 6 of the 1978 World Series against the New York Yankees. He went deep again in the third, golfing a low-and-inside fastball by Garcia and hitting it just inside the right field foul pole for a 2-0 Dodgers lead.
The Braves tied the game in the fourth on Johnson's RBI single and a run-scoring grounder from Andrelton Simmons.
NOTES: The decision to start Kershaw on three days' rest was done "by committee," according to Mattingly. GM Ned Colletti and his staff were in on the decision that was made late Sunday night, but the most important voice was Kershaw's himself, Mattingly said. ... Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he never considered pitching his ace, RHP Kris Medlen. on three days' rest, even after hearing about the Dodgers' decision to go with Kershaw. He saved Medlen for a potential Game 5 that will not take place. ... The last Dodgers starter to pitch on three days' rest in a postseason game was RHP Derek Lowe, who started Game 4 of the NLCS against the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008. Lowe allowed two runs on five hits but left after five innings and 74 pitches. The Los Angeles bullpen gave up four runs in the eighth inning and lost the game 7-5.