LOS ANGELES // The Dodgers advanced to their first National League championship series since 2009 after Juan Uribe hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning for a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Monday.
Yasiel Puig doubled down the right-field line leading off the eighth against losing pitcher 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 shot into the Dodgers’ bullpen in left field 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.
Carl Crawford homered his first two times up for the Dodgers, who lost in five games to Philadelphia four years ago in the NLCS.
The Braves took a 3-2 lead in the seventh with pinch-hitter Jose Constanza’s RBI single off reliever Ronald Belisario.
The Dodgers gambled in bringing back Clayton Kershaw on three days’ rest for the first time in his career. But with a chance to close out the series, they opted for their ace over scheduled starter Ricky Nolasco. The move paid off when the 2011 Cy Young pitching award winner tossed six solid innings before turning it over to the bullpen.
Rookie Michael Wacha took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning to help St Louis edge the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 on Monday and set up a winner-takes-all Game 5 in the NL division series.
The Cardinals improved to 7-1 over the last three years when facing elimination in the postseason.
Pedro Alvarez hit his third home run of the series, connecting with one out in the eighth for Pittsburgh’s only hit in Game 4.
Wacha and the St Louis bullpen made Matt Holliday’s two-run homer stand up. Trevor Rosenthal worked around a two-out walk in the ninth, retiring Andrew McCutchen on a popup for his first post-season save.
The Tampa Bay Rays staved off elimination, beating the Boston Red Sox 5-4 after Jose Lobaton hit a solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Rays cut Boston’s lead in their AL division series to 2-1. Game 4 is Tuesday night, with Jake Peavy starting for the Red Sox against Jeremy Hellickson.
Tampa Bay took a must-win game for the fourth time in nine days.
The Rays did it with an unlikely stroke as Lobaton, who came off the bench late in the game, connected against Red Sox closer Koji Uehara.
Oakland took a 2-1 lead in its AL division series against Detroit, with Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick and Seth Smith hitting homers as the Athletics chased Anibal Sanchez in the fifth inning and beat the Tigers 6-3.
Moss broke a 3-all tie in the fifth with a solo shot, and Smith’s two-run drive later in the inning ended Sanchez’ day. It was an impressive offensive show after the teams split two tense, low-scoring games in Oakland.
Oakland can close out the series Tuesday.
Sanchez, the American League’s ERA leader, allowed six runs – five earned – and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Jarrod Parker gave up three runs in five innings for Oakland, and the Tigers couldn’t rally against the bullpen.