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Dodgers advance to NLDS vs. Giants with dramatic walk-off homer to beat Cards

Dodgers advance to NLDS vs. Giants with dramatic walk-off homer to beat Cards
The Dodgers' Cody Bellinger celebrates as he heads home to score after outfielder Chris Taylor hit a walk-off, game-winning home run during the ninth inning of the National League Wild Card Game Wednesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 7 (UPI) -- After winning 106 games this season wasn't enough to win their division, the Los Angeles Dodgers faced a quick postseason exit in the National League Wild Card Game on Wednesday night before their bats came alive and they sent St. Louis home in dramatic, walk-off fashion.

Dodgers outfielder Chris Taylor stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning, with two outs, and smacked a two-run home run over the left field wall to win the game 3-1, and send Los Angeles into the National League divisional round, where they will play the rival San Francisco Giants.

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"These are the types of moments that you dream about and live for," Taylor said after the game. "To be able to look back on this for the rest of my life, I just feel fortunate that I was able to come through in that spot."

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The Cardinals struck first in the win-or-go-home game at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Los Angeles tied the score in the bottom of the fourth and the score would stay that way until Taylor's heroics.

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The victory sends the Dodgers into the National League Division Series, where they will face the Giants -- who took the National League West crown with 107 wins this season.

Two of MLB's most storied franchises, the Dodgers and Giants have never met in the postseason before.

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"I think it's great. It's what baseball wants," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "Giants, Dodgers, one of the great rivalries in sports, and it's happening."

For the Cardinals, it was a stinging defeat after the team won a franchise-record 17 straight games to end the regular season.

"We got a clubhouse full of guys that are hurting," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said after the game. "This team didn't come here just to play this game, this team came here to win and move on and take down our 12th World [Series] championship."

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"I felt like we had a team that was going to win a World Series, honestly," Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright added.

The Dodgers chased the Giants for most of September hoping to secure the NL West crown, but came up one win short. The NLDS series begins Friday in San Francisco.

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