EditorsNote: 2nd update: 1st graf, change ‘pitch’ to ‘pitched’
Matt Beaty and Corey Seager hit home runs, while Kenta Maeda pitched four strong innings of relief as the Los Angeles Dodgers earned a 5-0 victory Sunday to avoid being swept by the visiting San Francisco Giants.
Beaty hit his ninth homer of the season, while Seager delivered his 14th, as the Dodgers reduced their magic number for clinching their seventh consecutive National League West title to two.
The earliest the Dodgers can clinch a playoff spot is Tuesday when they open a three-game series at Baltimore.
The game was the last on the bench at Dodger Stadium for Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who is retiring at the end of the season. He finished his career 107-108 in the Dodgers’ home park, the most victories all time by a visiting manager.
Maeda entered in the third after two scoreless innings from left-hander Juilo Urias. While Urias is still being considered for a role as the Dodgers’ No. 4 starter in the playoffs, the Dodgers plan on using Maeda during high-leverage relief situations in the postseason.
Maeda (9-8) retired the first 10 Giants batters he faced Sunday, giving up just one hit while striking out six on 49 pitches.
Before Beaty’s home run, which gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead, Los Angeles had been in front for just two innings in the series while losing the first two games. The Dodgers were held scoreless for 12 consecutive innings before Beaty went deep.
Seager increased the lead to 5-0 in the fifth inning when he hit a three-run shot to center field. After A.J. Pollock followed Seager’s home run with a walk, starter Dereck Rodriguez was replaced by left-hander Sam Selman.
Rodriguez (5-9) gave up five runs (two earned) on three hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings with four strikeouts.
The two home runs gave the Dodgers 255 on the season to increase their NL-record total. They still trail the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins for the major league lead in homers.
The Dodgers hold a 9-7 lead in the season series with one more three-game series remaining at San Francisco to close out the regular season.
—Field Level Media