Puerto Rican left fielder Enrique Hernandez emerged as the hero of the fifth game of the National League Championship Series by hitting three home runs and pushing seven runs that allowed the Los Angeles Dodgers to beat the Cubs’ 11-1 Chicago and reach the World Series for the first time in three decades.
The win was the fourth to win the Dodgers in the series to the best of seven (4-1) and will have a rival in the “Fall Classic” the winner of the Series of Championship of the American League that dispute the Houston Astros and the Yankees of New York, with advantage of the seconds by 3-2.
Left-handed pitcher Clayton Kershaw also did his job in his six innings, while first-baseman Cody Bellinger fired three hits for Los Angeles to end Chicago’s reign with a sweeping offensive display in Game 5.
Hernandez disappeared before the first two pitches he saw, shaking a solo homer in the second against Colombian starter Jose Quintana and a grand slam in the third against Héctor Rondón.
He pitted a two-run homer in the ninth inning of reliever Mike Montgomery to complete a memorable performance and become the fourth player in the history of the Championship Series to score three home runs, second in the NL.
This is the first pennant for one of the most iconic Major League Baseball franchises since legendary Italian-born Tommy Lasorda drove Los Angeles to the championship in 1988.
The win was for Kershaw (1-0), who in six innings pitched three hits with a clean run allowed, walked on and fanned out five rival hitters.
The loss was left to Quintana (0-1), who barely lasted two innings on the mound, and was punished with six undisputed and six earned runs, gave a ticket and retired a batter via punch.