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Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers overpower Giants for 3rd straight NL West title

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

For the first time in the 132-year history of the franchise, the Dodgers are in the postseason for a third straight season. The Dodgers clinched the National League West crown with an 8-0 victory over the Giants on Monday night at AT&T Park, increasing their lead to a literally insurmountable six games with just five games remaining.

The Dodgers got the win Tuesday night in just about the best fashion possible.

Their ace, Clayton Kershaw, pitched very ace-like, allowing only one single and one walk in a shutout, his third of the season and 12th of his career. Kershaw struck out 13, and retired his final 19 batters faced.

Kershaw, who now has 294 strikeouts on the season with one final tuneup remaining on Sunday, is the first to hurl a first one-hit shutout against the Giants since Hideo Nomo, who did so on Aug. 5, 1995, also in San Francisco.

Kike Hernandez, starting for the first time since Aug. 30, started the game with a single in the first inning and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Justin Turner, giving Kershaw a 1-0 lead. Hernandez then added a no-doubt home run in the third, giving Hernandez four straight hits in his return from the disabled list.

The Dodgers added back-to-back solo home runs in the sixth inning, by lefty killers Justin Ruggiano and A.J. Ellis, chasing Madison Bumgarner from the game after he allowed three home runs for the first time since his rookie season in 2010.

The home runs gave Los Angeles a 4-0 lead, then they poured it on in the eighth inning with four more runs, including an RBI single from rookie shortstop Corey Seager and a two-run triple by 10-year veteran Andre Ethier.

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Tuesday particulars

Home runs: Kiké Hernandez (7), Justin Ruggiano (6), A.J. Ellis (7)

WP - Clayton Kershaw (16-7): 9 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 13 strikeouts

LP - Madison Bumgarner (18-9): 5⅔ IP, 5 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 1 walk, 6 strikeouts