In Los Angeles, the Mets added to their 2-0 series lead from New York, defeating the Dodgers 9-5 on Saturday to secure a place in the NL Championship Series for the first time since 2000.

 

"I can't even describe the feeling," Mets manager Willie Randolph said during the team's post-game celebration.

 

"It would have been nice to have another Subway Series (against the Yankees) but right now I'm just happy for our team."

 

The Dodgers took a 5-4 lead in the fifth inning after a two run fourth-inning homer by Jeff Kent.

 

The Mets replied in the sixth with three runs on doubles by former Dodgers Shawn Green and Paul Lo Duca and singles from Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, and then wrapped the game up in the eighth inning on a double by pinch hitter Chris Woodward.

 

"We didn't hit the ball hard, but we hit them in the right spots," Lo Duca said.

 

The Mets will now play either the St Louis Cardinals or the San Diego Padres in the Championship series after the Padres forced their divisional series into a fourth game after winning 3-1 in St Louis. 

 

The Cardinals lead the five-game series 2-1.

 

Tigers maul Yankees

 

Meanwhile in Detroit, the Tigers completed the upset of the playoffs by defeating the New York Yankees 3-1 in their five match series, after winning game four by 8-3.

 

Tigers pitcher Jeremy Bonderman
kept the Yankees quiet

Tigers starting right-hander Jeremy Bonderman threw 8 2/3 near perfect innings, allowing just one run in the seventh against a Yankees batting line-up touted as one of the greatest of its generation.

 

"They outplayed us and outpitched us and there's not much more you can say," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

 

"They showed great pitching can stop great hitting."

 

23-year-old Bonderman, who was 0-2 against the Yankees in the regular season and blew a six-run lead that cost the Tigers the AL Central title, said he was inspired by the Detroit crowd of over 43,000 and fellow pitcher Kenny Rogers' performance the previous night.

 

"I just kind of fed off the crowd and what Kenny did last night and tried to get better as the game went on and I was able to do that I think," Bonderman said.

 

The Tigers' playoff series win sends Detroit to the American League Championship to face the Oakland Athletics.

 

The Mets sweep and the Yankees loss means the Mets will be playing longer in a Major League season than the Yankees for the first time since 1988.