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Dodgers pull away late, beat Giants to clinch postseason berth

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Through seven innings, the theme of the game was the same as it had been all season. Unable to hit with runners in scoring position.

As the Dodgers headed into the eighth, they had stranded 11 runners on base. With two outs, and a runner on third, it appeared as if the Dodgers were prepared to strand their 12th.

Manny Machado had other ideas.

On a 2-2 pitch, Machado hit a triple off the right field wall, giving LA a 6-5 lead.

A four-run ninth would give the Dodgers the 10-6 victory. With Saturday’s win over the Giants, the Dodgers have clinched themselves a postseason berth. It’s yet to be determined who they’ll be playing, or when.

LA moves to 12 a game behind the Rockies, who play the Nationals tonight. A loss by Colorado would move LA into a tie for first place with one game remaining.

All it took was five pitches for the Dodgers to take the lead. Joc Pederson led the game off with a home run, his eighth leadoff homer of the year, setting a Dodgers franchise record.

The second inning was much like the first, as Yasiel Puig led off with a homer of his own, his 23rd of the season.

Singles from Nick Hundley and Gorkys Hernandez would get the Giants on the board in the bottom of the second. They would add two more in the third on three hits, giving San Francisco a 3-2 lead.

The Dodgers answered back with a three-run fourth inning. A walk from Puig and a single from Yasmani Grandal put two runners on. Kike Hernandez tied the game on an RBI double. Clayton Kershaw then helped his cause, bringing in two with a single.

Kershaw would allow two runs in the fifth, tying the game at five. For Kershaw, he had been historically great at AT&T Park. Today, he just simply didn’t have it. His final start of the year was the worst start at AT&T Park in his major-league career. In five innings, Kershaw allowed five runs on eight hits.

LA had countless opportunities to add more runs. They had runners on the corners with no outs in the sixth, but were unable to capitalize. In the seventh, they put three consecutive runners on base with two outs to load the bases. David Freese stepped up to the plate, and lined out to second, ending the inning.

Chris Taylor led off the eighth with a single. The next two batters got out, bringing up Manny Machado. Though Machado’s numbers with LA have been good, he had yet to have that one memorable at-bat. He saved it for the perfect time.

On a 1-2 pitch, Manny hit a 92-mph fastball to right, scoring Taylor and giving LA a 6-5 lead.

The Dodgers added more insurance runs in the ninth, all coming with two outs. Back-to-back singles from Hernandez and Kemp would put two on for Taylor. A single from Taylor would bring in one, giving LA a 7-5 lead.

After an intentional walk to Justin Turner, the bases were loaded for Max Muncy. On a 2-2 count, Muncy blooped one into no-mans land, doubling in two more runs, and opening the game wide open, giving the Dodgers a comfortable 9-5 lead. An infield single from Cody Bellinger would give the Dodgers their 10th run of the day.

Up Next

It’s still unclear who the Dodgers will start tomorrow, as either Walker Buehler or Rich Hill have been discussed, depending on the situation.

Saturday Particulars

Home Runs: Joc Pederson (23) Yasiel Puig (25)

WP: Alex Wood (9-7) 1 13 IP, 2 SO, 0 H

LP: Mark Melancon (1-4) 1 IP, 1 ER