The Milwaukee Brewers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 in 10 innings on Friday to reach the National League Championship Series (NLCS) by claiming their best-of-five divisional playoff series 3-2.
The Diamondbacks had their backs to the wall trailing 2-1 in the ninth inning but tied the game on a squeeze bunt by Willie Bloomquist that scored Gerardo Parra to send the deciding game to extra innings.
Milwaukee struck back in the bottom of the 10th off reliever J.J. Putz, who took the loss.
Carlos Gomez, put into center field in the eighth inning to help firm up the defense, stroked a one-out single to left and stole second base to set the stage for Nyjer Morgan.
Morgan grounded a single up the middle to score Gomez, make a winner of reliever John Ashford and set off a wild celebration on the diamond as Milwaukee won their first postseason series since their 1982 trip to the World Series.
He's gotten so many big hits for us all year, said Milwaukee's Ryan Braun, who like Morgan had two hits in the game. He enjoys the moment. This was an incredible game, an unbelievable feeling to win this game.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke paid tribute to Gomez's work to set up the winning run.
Yeah, it came down to Gomez, great at-bat, great stolen base, Roenicke told reporters. Nyjer doing what he's done so many times this year, gets that big hit when you need it.
The Brewers had stormed out to a 2-0 series lead with a pair of home wins but lost the last two in Arizona to send the series back to Milwaukee, where the NL Central champions had the best home record in Major League Baseball.
Arizona, however, drew first blood with an opposite field home run in the third inning by Justin Upton off Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo.
Milwaukee tied the score in the fourth inning when Morgan, who had doubled to deep right, scored on Jerry Hairston Jr's sacrifice fly off Arizona starter Ian Kennedy.
The Brewers inched ahead in the see-saw battle in the sixth inning after it looked like a rally started by a Braun double would be killed by a stellar catch by center-fielder Chris Young racing back on a long drive by Hairston.
However, Yuniesky Betancourt looped a single to center to score Braun for a 2-1 lead that lasted until Arizona's ninth-inning rally.
We've had great comebacks all year, unfortunately tonight we weren't able to finish it off, said Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson.
The Brewers will play either NL East champions Philadelphia Phillies or the wild card St Louis Cardinals in the best-of-seven NLCS, where the winner advances to the World Series.