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MLB playoffs: Kershaw strikes out 13 as Dodgers sweep Brewers

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw had a playoff career-high 13 strikeouts in a 3-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday in Los Angeles. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw had a playoff career-high 13 strikeouts in a 3-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday in Los Angeles. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw allowed just three hits and tossed 13 strikeouts in eight scoreless innings Thursday night to lead Los Angeles to a sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Wild Card Series.

The 3-0 victory at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles clinched a spot for the Dodgers in next week's National League Division Series, where they will face the winner of the wild card series between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Padres, which is tied at a game apiece.

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"That was a fun night for me," Kershaw told reporters. "We got the postseason off to a good start and get to move on. We had to do our job and get here. Now we get to get going."

Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts went 1 for 3 with two RBIs and a walk in the victory. Dodgers catch Austin Barnes and outfielder Chris Taylor collected two hits apiece.

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"[Kershaw] gave us all the opportunities to capitalize and you can't ask for anything more than what he did," Betts said.

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Kershaw and Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff did not allow a run through the first four innings before the Dodgers offense broke loose in the bottom of the fifth.

"It was just fun to sit and watch him make pitches and compete and go pitch-for-pitch with Woodruff," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "Kershaw was just determined. It was just an outstanding performance."

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Woodruff struck out Will Smith to start the frame before he allowed back-to-back singles to Cody Bellinger and Taylor. A.J. Pollock grounded out in the next at-bat.

Barnes followed with an RBI single to center field to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Betts then smacked a 2-0 Woodruff sinker to left field for a two-run double for the final runs of the game.

Kershaw struck out six of the next nine Brewers batters and did not allow a hit over his final two innings before he was replaced by Dodgers relief pitcher Brusdar Graterol in the ninth.

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Graterol allowed a single in his first exchange of the final frame before he retired the next three hitters to earn his first save of the postseason.

Woodruff allowed five hits and three runs and had nine strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings for the Brewers.

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Game 1 of a National League Division Series is scheduled for Tuesday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The Padres and Cardinals will play the third and final game of their wild card series at 7:08 p.m. EDT Friday at Petco Park in San Diego.

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Miami Marlins players pose for a picture after defeating the Chicago Cubs 2-0 in the National League Wild Card Game to win their first playoff series in 17 years in Chicago on Friday. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo

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