MLB Baseball

Dodgers ace Kershaw available in 'pen vs Brewers in Game 7

(AP Photo/Gary A. Vasquez, Pool)

MILWAUKEE (AP) Clayton Kershaw will be available in relief for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the NL Championship Series against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The winner of Saturday night's game plays the Red Sox in the World Series, which starts Tuesday in Boston.

Kershaw would be pitching on two days of rest. The three-time Cy Young Award winner is coming off a masterful outing in Game 5 on Wednesday, when he allowed one run and three hits while fanning nine over seven innings in a 5-2 victory at Dodger Stadium.

Manager Dave Roberts said the ace left-hander will head to the bullpen at the start of the game instead of waiting until the later innings.

"It's hard to see a scenario that he's not a part of this game," Roberts said. "I don't really have a number of pitches or innings. But I do see him being a part of this equation."

Kershaw has been dominant in relief during recent postseason elimination games. He got the final two outs of a 4-3 victory over Washington in Game 5 of the 2016 Division Series and pitched four scoreless innings in Game 7 of last year's World Series, a 5-1 loss to the Houston Astros.

Rookie right-hander Walker Buehler is starting for the Dodgers. He took the loss in Game 3 of the NLCS after allowing four runs and six hits over seven innings.

Roberts topped his lineup with two left-handed sluggers against righty Jhoulys Chacin. Joc Pederson, who hit 25 homers this season, is leading off. He is followed by Max Muncy, who had 35 home runs.

Justin Turner, Manny Machado and Cody Bellinger are next. Bellinger is the third left-handed hitter in the lineup.

Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor, Austin Barnes and Buehler round out the order.

The versatile Taylor, starting at second base, is hitting a team-high .350 in the NLCS. Barnes is making his fourth straight start at catcher.

The Brewers are sticking with the same lineup from Game 6, when they had 11 hits to break out of a slump for a 7-2 victory that tied the series at three games apiece.

Lorenzo Cain, MVP candidate Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun top the lineup, followed by cleanup hitter Travis Shaw, Jesus Aguilar and Mike Moustakas.

Erik Kratz, Orlando Arcia and Chacin are at the bottom of the order.

Arcia, a smooth-fielding shortstop, is hitting .318 in the series with two homers and three RBIs.

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Updated October 20, 2018

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