LOS ANGELES (AP) -- When Juan Uribe was unable to get a bunt down, it was the best thing that happened to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Uribe hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning after Clayton Kershaw started on short rest for the Dodgers in a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves that sent Los Angeles into the National League championship series Monday night.
"It was a special night to get to do it here in L.A.," said Kershaw, his hair slick from the spray of beer and champagne. "We haven't won anything yet, but it definitely feels good to get to celebrate. You never want to pass those moments up."
Carl Crawford homered his first two times up and the Dodgers won the best-of-five playoff 3-1 to reach their first NLCS since 2009. The NL West champions open the next round Friday against St. Louis or Pittsburgh.
The Cardinals host the wild-card Pirates in a winner-take-all Game 5 on Wednesday.
"We've moved one step closer, and we don't have to get back on a plane tomorrow. It's a good feeling," said Don Mattingly, managing in the playoffs for the first time.
Meanwhile, it was the latest October flop for Atlanta, which hasn't won a postseason series since 2001. During that stretch, the Braves have lost seven straight playoff series and the 2012 NL wild-card game.
Yasiel Puig doubled down the right-field line leading off the eighth against losing pitcher David Carpenter. The rookie charged into second base and pumped his right fist in the air.
Fans were on their feet chanting "Let's go Dodgers!" when Uribe fouled off two bunt attempts. Then he sent a hanging 2-2 breaking ball into the Dodgers' bullpen in left field to put them in front for the second time.
"This moment today I'll never forget," Uribe said. "I think a lot of people feel like that."
Brian Wilson pitched a scoreless eighth to get the victory. Kenley Jansen struck out all three batters in the ninth for a save, fanning Justin Upton to end it.
That set off a raucous celebration on the field by the Dodgers, who rushed toward the mound in a mob. They tore jerseys off each other in unbridled excitement and doused Uribe with a bright-colored sports drink.
"This team has a lot of fun. We don't think about being the team to beat and all that stuff. We just go out there and play and try to have fun," Crawford said.
Jansen and catcher A.J. Ellis leaped into each other's arms, and a burst of fireworks lit the sky in center field as blue and silver streamers cascaded from an upper level of the stadium.
The Dodgers lined up exchanging hugs in the infield, and co-owners Mark Walter and Magic Johnson grinned watching the revelry among the team they purchased last year.
Kershaw, Puig, Wilson and other players jogged around the warning track exchanging high-fives and hand slaps with delirious fans.
"They were loud," Kershaw said. "They want it just as much as we do."
The Dodgers were criticized for jumping into the ballpark pool in Arizona when they clinched the NL West crown last month. This time, they got to party at home.
"There's a handful of guys that have never gotten to do that before," Kershaw said.
He shared a moment with Dodgers great Sandy Koufax in a clubhouse reeking of beer and champagne that had been sprayed everywhere.
"To get a hug and get a 'good job' from a guy like that, from a guy that's been there, from a guy that's done this before and was the best at it for a long time, is pretty special," Kershaw said.
CARDINALS 2, PIRATES 1
PITTSBURGH -- Rookie Michael Wacha took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning and the St. Louis Cardinals showed off their October poise, edging the Pittsburgh Pirates and setting up a winner-take-all Game 5 in the NL division series.
The Cardinals improved to 7-1 over the last three years when facing elimination in the postseason.
Pedro Alvarez hit his third home run of the series, connecting with one out in the eighth for Pittsburgh's only hit in Game 4.
Wacha and the St. Louis bullpen made Matt Holliday's two-run homer stand up. Trevor Rosenthal worked around a two-out walk in the ninth, retiring Andrew McCutchen on a popup for his first postseason save.
Game 5 will be Wednesday in St. Louis, with ace Adam Wainwright starting for the Cardinals. The Pirates had not announced their starter.