Highlights of Monday's Major League Baseball playoff games

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"Eight more wins", closer Kenley Jansen said, referring to all that is left between the Dodgers and a World Series title.

Clayton Kershaw led the way for the Dodgers in their big series win over Arizona, ensuring that the team got off to a good series start and protecting home field advantage. Or it was, if you want to believe Yasiel Puig, an absolute licking. When the Dodgers clinched the division here in 2013, they famously celebrated by jumping into the pool beyond the right-center field fence. The Diamondbacks dispatched police horses to guard the structure, just in case. "Mostly about what time we're going to play".

Two losses in Los Angeles featured uncharacteristically bad starting pitching and some defensive lapses.

Yes, those were "Let's Go Dodgers" chants that ultimately swept the building as the Dodgers' swam only in champagne.

"They may sweep our team, but they can never take our swimming pool!"

Admittedly, I was the Dodgers fan that none of the other fans like to hear - the skeptical one. It was about rediscovering their focus, and bringing back the fun.

The Dodgers are heading to their second consecutive National League Championship Series after making quick work of the Arizona Diamondbacks, dispatching them in a three-and-done fashion.

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Arizona only managed three hits: a bunt single by Ketel Marte in the first, a home run by Daniel Descalso in the fifth and a ninth-inning single by David Peralta.

No, this was all about Dodgers baseball.

The Dodgers' batters exercised supreme discipline, laying off Zack Greinke's pitches out of the zone to send the Diamondbacks star's pitch count soaring.

Then in the sixth inning catcher, Austin Barnes hit a home run to extend the lead.

Darvish (1-0) would leave the game immediately after, finishing the best start of his postseason career with one run allowed on just two hits with no walks and seven strikeouts in five innings.

Josh Reddick drove in the go-ahead run on a two-out single to left field in the eighth inning off Boston's Craig Kimbrel, who relieved starter-turned-reliever Chris Sale (0-2) in the eighth after Houston tied it. But moved into a relief role during the postseason, he has shined, and he recorded a third scoreless appearance by retiring the side, setting up Jansen's three-out save. Beginning Saturday at Dodger Stadium, they will host either the Chicago Cubs or Washington Nationals, whoever survives an NLDS now led by the Cubs, two games to one. Clayton Kershaw - who didn't even need to pitch in relief in this particular NLDS after his memorable turn past year against the Nationals - can start the NLCS opener Saturday on seven days' rest, with Rich Hill, Darvish and Alex Wood all well-rested and ready to take their turn. It seemed like a clearly superior way to go about winning a baseball game. Barnes played at ASU from 2009-11.

How bad was it here? "I don't know how many times they were on base, but (the batters in the) 6, 7, 8 spot, those guys were on base all night, being productive, driving runs in".

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