LOS ANGELES -- Juan Uribe's eighth-inning two-run home run off David Carpenter provided the Dodgers a lead they would not relinquish on the way to ending their National League Division Series against the Braves with a 4-3 Game 4 victory on Monday night.
Assigned to preserve a one-run lead in the eighth inning, Carpenter allowed a leadoff double to Yasiel Puig. Uribe fell behind with an 0-2 count and then drilled a hanging breaking ball over the left-field wall that proved to be a crushing blow that ended Atlanta's season.
The Braves' bullpen led the Majors in ERA during the regular season. But it was weakened down the stretch when Jordan Walden never regained his successful form after straining his groin in late August. Carpenter began the year in the Minors, but earned the right to serve as a setup man by the end of the season.
While he might have been the obvious underdog in this pitching matchup against Kershaw, Garcia did more than simply prove his doubters wrong as he dazzled in his 11th career postseason start. The 37-year-old right-hander displayed his veteran poise as he scattered eight hits and surrendered two runs, both of which came courtesy of solo homers hit by Carl Crawford.
With Kershaw and Garcia gone after six innings, Elliot Johnson sparked Atlanta's seventh-inning rally by lacing a one-out triple into the right-field corner against Ronald Belisario. This set the stage for Jose Constanza to come off the bench and line his go-ahead single into shallow center fielder.
Constanza's single came in his first career postseason at-bat and Johnson's triple accounted for the only hit he recorded in 13 at-bats during this series. It appeared it was going to be that kind of night for the Braves, who proved to be wise with their decision to stick with Garcia after the Dodgers opted to pitch Kershaw on short rest for the first time in his career.
Crawford opened the bottom of the first with a home run and then gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead when he sent another ball into the right-field seats with one out in the third. The three home runs Crawford has totaled in the past two games are two more than he hit in his final 328 regular-season at-bats.
Kershaw was not nearly as dominant as he was when he allowed one run and recorded 12 strikeouts during a 124-pitch, seven-inning outing in Game 1. But the top NL Cy Young Award candidate delivered six strong innings that were simply marred by his defense during an ugly fourth inning.
After recording just one hit through the first three innings, the Braves tied the game with a pair of fourth-inning runs that were aided by multiple defensive miscues. Freddie Freeman singled to begin the inning and advanced to second when first baseman Adrian Gonzalez fielded Evan Gattis' short hop and then rushed an errant throw to shortstop Hanley Ramirez.
Freeman scored on Chris Johnson's single and Gattis crossed the plate with the tying run when Mark Ellis made an offline throw that Gonzalez could not handle while attempting to retire Andrelton Simmons with an inning-ending double play.
--- Source: MLB.com