Dodgers ace Kershaw available in ‘pen vs Brewers in Game 7

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Left-handed Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw entered in the ninth and retired the last three Milwaukee batters to send Los Angeles back to the World Series. Los Angeles fell short a year ago, losing to Houston in Game 7.

Through the first five games of the series, to the surprise of many, the Milwaukee Brewers were led by their starting rotation while the offense struggled to get on base and produce runs. The three-time Cy Young Award victor is coming off a masterful outing in Game 5 on Wednesday, when he allowed one run and three hits while fanning nine over seven innings in a 5-2 victory at Dodger Stadium. Justin Turner singled, Bellinger beat out a potential inning-ending double play, then Puig extended his arms on a low-and-outside curveball, sending a low line drive into deep center field for the decisive blow. "They earned an opportunity to go to the World Series", Brewers left fielder, Ryan Braun, said of the Dodgers. His go-ahead two-run homer early in Game 7 was all the Dodgers ended up needing to win.

The Dodgers haven't won the World Series since 1988.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who helped the Red Sox to the 2004 World Series title as a speedy reserve outfielder, forecast a great series ahead. He is followed by Max Muncy, who had 35 home runs. It was the first October blip for the right-hander, who hadn't allowed a run in his previous two starts this postseason. Add it all up and I see the Brew Crew celebrating with a champagne party Saturday night before heading to Boston for the team's first World Series in 36 years. "To get to go back from a year ago, it´s unbelievable".

The Dodgers failed to muster much else during the rest of the game, and Knebel's relief stint proved to be huge in helping the Brewers get to a Game 7.

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After Milwaukee lost to St. Louis in the 2011 NLCS, the Brewers slipped to 83-79 the following year and all the way to 74-88 in 2013. They lost back-to-back games to the woeful Cincinnati Reds from September 10 to 11, but they took three of four from the St. Louis Cardinals, then swept the Colorado Rockies and later won the last four games of their regular season, including a one-game tiebreaker on the first day of October.

Bidding for its first World Series appearance since 1982, Milwaukee finished 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position while striking out 14 times against the Dodgers.

What a surge for a team that was 10 games under.500 on May 16. "I really feel like that", Hader said.

Key team stats: The Dodgers were first in the NL and second in Major League Baseball with 235 home runs, trailing only the Yankees. So when we spoke with fans about how they're feeling, their response was no surprise.

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