Angel Pagan homered off of Paco Rodriguez, and off the top of the left field wall, in the eighth inning on Thursday night, giving the Giants a 3-2 win over the Dodgers in the finale of a three-game series at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
The loss for the Dodgers all but assures them the No. 3 seed in the National League playoffs, meaning they will almost certainly open the NLDS one week from Thursday on the road. The Dodgers (91-68) are three games behind both the Braves (94-65) and Cardinals (94-65).
The Dodgers hold the tiebreaker with St. Louis but not Atlanta. There is no way for the Dodgers to have home field advantage against the Braves, and the only way to do so against the Cardinals is if the Dodgers sweep the Rockies and Cubs sweep the Cardinals this weekend.
Rodriguez hadn't pitched since Sept. 18, but his loss on Thursday continued a relatively rough month for the southpaw. After allowing just one home run in the first five months of the season, Rodriguez has allowed three home runs in September, and has six walks and five strikeouts.
Thursday was the 75th appearance of the season for Rodriguez, one behind teammate Ronald Belisario for the National League lead.
Carl Crawford tripled into the left center field gap with one out in the first inning, continuing his productive series. Crawford was 6-for-13 (.462) with three extra-base hits in the three games in San Francisco, and scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly to center field by Adrian Gonzalez.
Crawford's triple was the fifth hit by the Dodgers in nine games at AT&T Park in 2013, matching their total in 78 games at Dodger Stadium this season.
The Dodgers tried to add another run in the second inning after Tim Federowicz singled and was sacrificed to second base. Yasiel Puig singled hard to left field but Federowicz was thrown out at the plate on a strong throw from Gregor Blanco, despite a nifty slide
A sixth triple nearly came off the bat of Juan Uribe to lead off the fourth inning, but his fly ball to triples alley in center field took a bounce over the wall for an automatic double. Mark Ellis followed with a double of his own for a 2-0 lead, but was stranded at second base as Tim Lincecum struck out Federowicz, Edinson Volquez and Puig to end the inning.
Ellis doubled again in the sixth inning with two outs, put pinch hitter Skip Schumaker's would-be line drive single two batters later was hit into the waiting glove of Nick Noonan, Johnny on the spot at third base the last two nights.
Volquez held the Giants in check until the fifth, when San Francisco tallied two runs on two hits, a walk and a wild pitch, with the tying blow an RBI double by Brandon Belt with two outs. The potential for further damage was thwarted when Belt was caught between second and third, trying to advance on the throw home from Puig in right field.
The Dodgers finish their regular season 45-36 on the road, tied with the Rangers for the best away record in baseball.
The Dodgers return home to conclude their regular season with three games against the Rockies at Dodger Stadium. Clayton Kershaw will make his final regular season start in the series opener on Friday night and unlike previously thought, will be caught by A.J. Ellis instead of Tim Federowicz - Tony Jackson has more at Dodger Scribe. Collin McHugh gets the start for Colorado.
Home run: Angel Pagan (5)
WP - Santiago Casilla (7-2): 3 up, 3 down
LP - Paco Rodriguez (3-4): ⅓ IP, 2 hits, 1 run
Sv - Sergio Romo (38): 3 up, 3 down