- - Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Washington Nationals, after losing Game 5 on three occasions at home in previous postseasons, punched their ticket to the World Series for the first time in front of a raucous, sell-out crowd at Nationals Park Tuesday night.

Lefty Patrick Corbin allowed four runs in five innings but the offense exploded for seven runs in the first inning as the Nationals beat the storied St. Louis Cardinals 7-4 to sweep the NL Championship Series, 4-0.

The Cardinals came back from a 6-0 deficit in 2012 to win Game 5 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park and rallied for four runs Tuesday and threatened to add more in the eighth, but the Nationals held on.


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The victory before a sea of red-clad fans at National Park set off fireworks beyond the center field bleachers that lit up the skies around the Navy Yard neighborhood in southeast D.C.

The Nationals will play on the road in Game 1 of the World Series on Oct. 22 against the Houston Astros or New York Yankees.



The red-hot Nationals jumped on St. Louis starting pitcher Dakota Hudson for seven runs in the last of the first inning.

MVP candidate Anthony Rendon, a pending free agent, made it 1-0 with a sacrifice fly and Juan Soto followed with an RBI single for a 2-0 lead.

Victor Robles lashed an RBI single, Yan Gomes drove in two more with a single and Trea Turner lined a two-run hit to left for a 7-0 advantage.

The Nationals were aided by an inept St. Louis defense that made one error and had other miscues in the first. Cardinals manager Mike Shildt was forced to add offensive punch to his lineup in exchange for defense — a strategy that backfired early.

Hudson lasted just 15 pitches and faced only eight batters before he was replaced by veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright.

Yadier Molina hit a homer for St. Louis in the fourth to make it 7-1. The Cardinals scored three in the fifth, highlighted by a two-run double by Jose Martinez to trim the margin to 7-4.

Hard-throwing Tanner Rainey came on to pitch for the Nationals and retired all three batters to halt the momentum. Sean Doolittle pitched a scoreless seventh and came back out to start eighth.

The Nationals allowed just six runs in the series against the Cardinals.

Earlier versions corrected to note three Game 5 losses prior to this year for the Nationals.

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