The shot came at the end of a series in which Kendrick was exposed on defense, whether it was at first base or at second.
Buehler allowed one run and four hits in 6 2/3 innings, struck out seven, walked three and hit a batter. Dave Roberts sent Kershaw back out in the Top of the 8th to face Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto and Howie Kendrick, instead of Kenta Maeda despite Maeda's recent performance in the series.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had his game plan working to perfection, getting six solid innings from Game 1 victor Walker Buehler, who went six and two-thirds innings for LA, giving up a run on four hits, striking out seven and walking three, on 117 pitches.
What happened next shocked the baseball world as Clayton Kershaw gave up back to back home runs to Rendon and Soto. The Nationals overcame a 19-31 start, finished 93-69 and then rallied from a 3-1, eighth-inning deficit to beat Milwaukee 4-3 in the NL wild-card game.
Kendrick fouled off a pitch, then hit a 97 miles per hour fastball over the wall in center for his second career slam.
Sean Doolittle pitched a ideal 10th for Washington, with center fielder Michael A. Taylor making a diving catch on Justin Turner for the final out.
Game 1 of the Championship Series, pitting the Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals, is slated for Friday night in St. Louis. He now has a 4.43 ERA in 32 postseason appearances, having also taken the loss in Game 2 of this series.
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The Dodgers have won seven consecutive National League West titles but have not won the World Series since 1988.
"It was electric. Probably the best moment of my career", the 14-year veteran said when asked to describe the feeling of finally winning a playoff series with Washington. From time to time, readers ask us how they can support us, and we usually say, keep reading. "You can't expect 10 runs, but we definitely didn't mind it".