LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw might very well go into the Hall of Fame one day on the strength of his amazing regular-season success — dragging behind him a painful October history he would rather forget.

Another chapter to his playoff woes was added Wednesday night when the three-time Cy Young Award winner squandered a two-run lead with the Los Angeles Dodgers six outs from advancing to a fourth straight NL Championship Series.

Pitching on full rest at home in relief of effective starter Walker Buehler in Game 5 of the Division Series against Washington, Kershaw gave up homers on consecutive pitches to Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto that tied it 3-all in the eighth inning.

The wild-card Nationals won 7-3 after a grand slam in the 10th by former Dodger Howie Kendrick off Joe Kelly. And with that, the stunned Dodgers were sent home for the winter.

“When you don’t win the last game of the season and you’re to blame for it, it’s not fun,” Kershaw said, his eyes red. “The main reason (it hurts) is the group of guys in this clubhouse. It’s a terrible feeling.”

The 31-year-old Kershaw has been the heart and soul of the Dodgers almost since the time he arrived in Los Angeles as a highly touted prospect in 2008 at age 20. While his body of work in the regular season (169-74 with a 2.44 ERA) is practically unmatched, he is 9-11 with a 4.43 ERA and 24 home runs allowed in 32 postseason games, 25 starts.

The ace left-hander entered Wednesday with two on in the seventh and struck out Adam Eaton on three pitches to end the inning.

Kershaw, however, never got another out.

“It might linger for a while,” he said. “I might not get over it. I don’t know. Spring training is going to come and I will have to be ready to pitch and do my job the best I can.”

Kershaw also took the loss as a starter in Game 2 at home, when he gave up three runs and six hits in six innings.

YANKEES:  Aaron Hicks returned to Phoenix, unable to throw without pain, advised to rest his aching elbow on Sept. 11 by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, an orthopedic specialist in California. The season appeared to be over for the New York Yankees’ outfielder.

Being told you might have to get Tommy John,” he said, “that’s like the low of the low. That’s like the worst thing to hear.”

Then, a short time later, Hicks was surprised.

“I was just messing around in the backyard. One of my buddies wanted to hit in the cage and I was just kind of setting things up for him to kind of hit around and I was like, man, my arm kind of feels good right now,” Hicks said. “I just started playing a little light catch.”

Sidelined since Aug. 3 because of a flexor injury near his right elbow, Hicks had someone take a video of him throwing and sent it to Michael Schuk, the Yankees’ assistant athletic trainer. After some questions, Shuck passed it along to Steve Donohue, the Yankees’ head athletic trainer.

“I remember Stevie Donohue calling me and saying, `He actually looks pretty good. What do you want to do with this?” GM Brian Cashman recalled. “I said, well, if he’s up for it, let’s get him back to Tampa and see where it takes us.”

Hicks returned to the Yankees’ minor league complex in late September and now he may be restored to the active roster for the AL Championship Series, which starts Saturday. He worked out at Yankee Stadium with his teammates on Thursday, hoping to persuade Manager Aaron Boone, the coaches and front office he was ready.

“We’re going to get our eyes on you, run you through the car, and you need to be get mentally prepared for being healthy but not active, being healthy and a bench player or being healthy and a starter,” Cashman told him.

New York also must decide whether to activate 39-year-old left-hander CC Sabathia, who missed the Division Series sweep of Minnesota because of a sore pitching shoulder.

PADRES: Police arrested San Diego Padres pitcher Jacob Nix after he was accused of breaking into a suburban Phoenix home through a doggie dog and was shot with a Taser by the homeowner.

Nix, who is facing two counts of criminal trespassing, was released this week from the Maricopa County jail on $100 bond.

Charging documents indicate the 23-year-old Nix was under the influence of either alcohol or drugs during Sunday’s incident.

Police say Nix tried to crawl through the doggie door of a Peoria home shortly before 4 a.m.

The homeowner discovered Nix and kicked him in the face.

According to the complaint, Thomas Cosgrove, a minor league pitcher for the Padres, was there and pulled Nix out of the door. The homeowner fired his Taser, hitting Nix in the back.

The documents indicate Nix told responding officers he thought he was entering his house.

PHILLIES: Gabe Kapler was fired nearly two weeks after a disappointing finish to a season of big expectations highlighted by Bryce Harper’s arrival.

Kapler went 161-163 in two years, his team unable to deliver following its offseason spending spree. Philadelphia finished 81-81, its first nonlosing season since 2012.

“Several years ago, I promised our loyal fans that I would do everything in my power to bring a world championship team to our city. I will never waver from that commitment,” Phillies managing partner John Middleton said in a statement. “I have decided that some changes are necessary to achieve our ultimate objective. Consequently, we will replace our manager.”

The Phillies were only two games behind in the NL wild-card standings after beating Atlanta on Sept. 18 but lost eight of the next nine, including a five-game sweep at Washington. They finished eight games behind Milwaukee for the second wild card and 16 behind the first-place Braves in the NL East.

Last year, the Phillies had a one-game lead in the division on Aug. 11 before going 15-31 the rest of the way.

The team also announced pitching coach Chris Young, head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan and assistant athletic trainer Chris Mudd will not return. Hitting coach Charlie Manuel will return to his role as a senior adviser. The new manager will inherit the remainder of the coaching staff.

MARLINS: Mel Stottlemyre Jr. has been retained as pitching coach for 2020 after guiding a young staff that ranked 20th in the majors in ERA this year.

The Marlins also retained first base coach Trey Hillman. He and Stottlemyre both joined manager Don Mattingly’s staff this year.

Third base coach Fredi Gonzalez, a former manager for the Atlanta Braves and Portland Sea Dogs, was not retained.

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