The Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox won their respective Championship Series games on Wednesday night, moving each of those teams just one game away from reaching the World Series.

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Clayton Kershaw celebrates after striking out Jesus Aguilar to get out of a bases loaded jam in the third inning of Game 5 of the 2018 NLCS. (Image: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

The Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 behind a dominant performance from starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw to take a 3-2 series lead in the NLCS.

Kershaw Makes Up For Shaky Game 1

Kershaw gave up just one run on three hits over seven innings while striking out nine batters to earn the win. That was a welcome change from his Game 1 start, in which the Dodgers ace gave up five runs in just three innings of work.

I dont know if it was that much, just a little bit better execution maybe, Kershaw said of the differences in the two performances. Maybe I threw some more curveballs today than I did in Game 1.

One of the key moments of the game came in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Los Angeles catcher Austin Barnes knocked in Chris Taylor to tie the game at 1-1. Had Barnes not driven in the run, Kershaw would have been up with two outs. Yasiel Puig was in the on deck circle, suggesting Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was ready to pull him to try and score a run there though Roberts said after the game that Puig was just a decoy.

The Brewers now get to return to their home field needing to win the final two games of the series. Theyll start by sending Wade Miley to the mound for Game 6. Miley was also the Game 5 starter, but pitched to just one batter, walking Cody Bellinger before being pulled from the game.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell later confirmed that this too was a decoy move, designed to get the Dodgers to build their lineup around facing Miley before he was pulled for Brandon Woodruff, who threw a solid 5.1 innings in what was technically a relief appearance.

Miley will face off against Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu in Game 6. The Dodgers are considered a slight favorite to close out the series on Friday, with Bovada listing Los Angeles as a -117 favorite in the game.

A Tale of Two Catches for Boston

In the American League, the Boston Red Sox held on for a thrilling 8-6 victory over the Houston Astros to take a 3-1 lead in the ALCS. An exciting game from start to finish at least one team scored in each of the first eight innings Game 4 will mainly be remembered for two moments: one at the start of the game, and one at the finish.

After the Red Sox scored two runs in the top of the first, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve appeared to have tied the game with a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning. But umpire Joe West called fan interference as Mookie Betts attempted to make a leaping grab above the wall. While Houston and Boston players predictably disagreed on the decision, West was confident in the call he made, one that was upheld after replay review.

The spectator reached out of the stands and hit him over the playing field and closed his glove, West said after the game. Thats why I called spectator interference.

The Red Sox were also the beneficiaries of a great catch to end the game. With the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the ninth, Alex Bregman hit a sinking line drive to left field. Boston outfielder Andrew Benintendi made a diving catch to end the game, knowing that had he mistimed his dive, the ball would have gotten past him, likely scoring three runs and giving Houston the win.

I thought I could catch it and timed it up well, Benintendi said after the game. At that point, it was either do or die.

Boston has a chance to close out the series on Thursday night in Houston. The Red Sox will start David Price, while Houston sends Justin Verlander to the hill. That pitching matchup seems advantageous for the Astros, who are a -200 favorite to win the game and send the ALCS back to Boston.