Dodgers clinch NL West title against the Giants — again

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LOS ANGELES — In 2014, Clayton Kershaw pitched a one-hitter at AT&T Park. A year later, Kershaw was on the mound again at Chavez Ravine when the Dodgers won a rout.

On Friday night, for the third time in four years, the Dodgers clinched the National League West title by beating the Giants.

They did it this time after one of their most sacred totems, Tommy Lasorda, celebrated his 90th birthday on the field before L.A.’s 4-2 victory and told the crowd, “You are the greatest fans in the world. We owe you a championship.”

The debt is 29 years old. Lasorda’s 1988 Dodgers were the last to win a title. But they keep giving themselves chances, winning the West for five consecutive seasons.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy was asked the inevitable question, if it was hard to watch the Dodgers clinch against his team again.

“Noooo,” he said, extending the word. “You know what? It was going to happen, the situation we’re in. It would have been a little different if we were in it and they knocked us out.”

Bochy then offered a heap of praise on the Dodgers and their manager, Dave Roberts, one of his former players.

“Congratulations to them,” he said. “They’ve had a tremendous year. Across the board they played great baseball. They’re well deserved division champs.

“Dave Roberts did a great job, and his coaching staff. It’s an amazing record they have. I know they stumbled a little bit, but they’re solid. They have a solid rotation, a solid bullpen, their position players, their depth. They’re probably going to have a tough call who’s going to be on the (postseason) roster.”

On the other end of the division, the Giants fell to 60-94 with eight games to play with a prototypical Jeff Samardzija loss. He looked dominating enough to throw a no-hitter but cost himself dearly with one pitch. Cody Bellinger hit a hanging splitter into the right-field seats for a three-run homer, his 39th, breaking the National League rookie record that stood for 87 years.

Samardzija had a milestone night, too. He became the first Giants right-hander since Tim Lincecum in 2011 to reach 200 strikeouts. He also reached 200 innings, the first major-league pitcher to do so in each of the past five seasons. He could be the only one, depending on how many innings the Nationals’ Max Scherzer throws the rest of the way.

But Samardzija also tied a career high with his 29th homer allowed.

Samardzija also praised the Dodgers, saying, “They’re legit right there. When they feel they’ve got you on the ropes, they’re not messing around.

“I think that team can go far. They’re going to have issues which 25 guys to put on the roster. Once they figure that out, they’re going to have a very tough team in the playoffs.”

Kenley Jansen struck out three left-handed pinch-hitters — Denard Span, Jarrett Parker and Ryder Jones — to seal the win, but only after Pablo Sandoval hit a leadoff homer in the ninth.

When he caught Jones looking, the celebration on the field began as “I Love L.A.” blared throughout Dodger Stadium.

The Giants emptied their dugout quickly and let the Dodgers have the floor.

Henry Schulman is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: hschulman@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @hankschulman

Source : http://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Dodgers-clinch-NL-West-title-against-the-Giants-12222596.php

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