Cody Bellinger's heroics lift Dodgers over Giants in classic NLDS finale

With one out in the top of the ninth, Bellinger came up with Justin Turner on second base and Gavin Lux on first. Bellinger singled to the right side of the field off San Francisco Giants reliever Camilo Doval.

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Los Angeles Dodgers' Cody Bellinger (35) reacts after hitting an RBI-single against the San Francisco Giants during the ninth inning of Game 5 of a baseball National League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in San Francisco.

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger (35) reacts after hitting an RBI-single against the San Francisco Giants during the ninth inning of Game 5 of a baseball National League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

The clutch hit gave the Dodgers the 2-1 lead in Game 5 of the National League Division Series. It would be the same score the Dodgers won by.

The 2019 National League MVP struggled in 2021. While battling injuries, he hit just .165 with a 45 OPS+ and 10 home runs. He struck out 94 times in 315 at-bats. His postseason performance coming into Thursday night wasn’t much better. He was 3-for-11 with a .273 average and five strikeouts.

But when the Dodgers need a knock, he was there to deliver.

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts threw Max Scherzer on the mound in the bottom of the ninth inning to close the game out. He earned his first professional save of his baseball career. He struck out Wilmer Flores to end the game. The umpires called Flores out but it appeared Flores had held up on the Scherzer offering.

Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner, right, is congratulated by Chris Taylor after scoring against the San Francisco Giants during the ninth inning of Game 5 of a baseball National League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in San Francisco.

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner, right, is congratulated by Chris Taylor after scoring against the San Francisco Giants during the ninth inning of Game 5 of a baseball National League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

Los Angeles drew first blood in the top of the sixth inning.

Mookie Betts singled and stole a base on Buster Posey to get into scoring position. Corey Seager came in and doubled to score Betts.

In the bottom of the inning, Darin Ruf hit a solo home run off Julio Urias to tie the game.

San Francisco Giants' Darin Ruf rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning of Game 5 of a baseball National League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in San Francisco.

San Francisco Giants’ Darin Ruf rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning of Game 5 of a baseball National League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/John Hefti)

The game was even until the ninth inning when Bellinger delivered the go-ahead single.

Logan Webb and Corey Knebel started for their respective teams. Webb for the Giants and Knebel for the Dodgers. Webb went seven innings and struck out seven batters. He allowed one run on four hits. Knebel opened and allowed one hit in one inning.

San Francisco Giants' Evan Longoria, middle, reacts after striking out against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the seventh inning of Game 5 of a baseball National League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in San Francisco.

San Francisco Giants’ Evan Longoria, middle, reacts after striking out against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the seventh inning of Game 5 of a baseball National League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/John Hefti)

Los Angeles will play the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series for the right to go to the World Series. The defending-champion Dodgers will look to play for the title for the fourth time in five years.

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