LOS ANGELES — Cody Bellinger hit a three-run homer, Rich Hill pitched six innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched their fifth straight National League West title with a 4-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Friday.
Bellinger hit his 39th homer, setting a record for homers by a National League rookie as the Dodgers clinched despite enduring a rough stretch for nearly a month. Los Angeles clinched while winning for only the seventh time in 27 games and while snapping a nine-game home losing streak.
Hill (10-8) allowed one run on five hits with nine strikeouts
Closer Kenley Jansen closed out the victory by striking out Ryder Jones for his 40th save. It is the third time in four seasons Jansen reached at least 40 saves.
With eight games remaining, the Dodgers will now work on securing the best record in the National league and the home-field advantage through a potential National League Championship Series that comes with it. The Dodgers (98-56) hold a six-game lead on the Washington Nationals in the race for the NL’s best mark.
Los Angeles owns a two-game lead over the Cleveland Indians for the best record in the majors.
Fittingly, it was Bellinger who put the Dodgers in the lead for good by homering off Jeff Samardzija (9-15). The blast gave Bellinger the most home runs ever in a single season for a National League rookie, breaking a tie with Wally Berger (1930) and Hall of Famer Frank Robinson (1956).
The only rookies with more home runs than Bellinger both did it in the American League. Mark McGwire had 49 home runs for the Oakland Athletics in 1987 and Aaron Judge has 46 home runs for the New York Yankees this season.
Bellinger is now one home run away from becoming just the third player in major league history to hit 40 home runs in his age-21 season or younger.
The Giants took a 1-0 lead three batters into the game on a RBI single by Buster Posey.
The Dodgers tied the game on Hill’s RBI double in the third.
It was just the fourth hit for Hill in 41 at-bats this season to that point. It was just his 18th career hit (167 at-bats) and only his fourth extra-base hit going back to 2005. Hill’s RBI hit came three batters before Bellinger’s latest homer.
Samardzija gave up four runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings and Pablo Sandoval homered in the ninth before Jansen secured the game for Los Angeles.
NOTES: Dodgers 3B Justin Turner (right thumb, stomach virus) was not in the starting lineup. Turner was hit by a pitch Thursday, as well as stomach virus. ... Dodgers SS Corey Seager returned to the starting lineup Friday after missing Thursday’s game with a sore left ankle. ... The Dodgers activated RHP Brandon McCarthy (blisters) from the 60-day disabled list. ... The Giants placed RHP Pierce Johnson on the active roster, two days after claiming him off waivers from the Chicago Cubs. ... Giants RHP Jeff Samardzija reached 200 innings pitched for the fifth consecutive season.