The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched a playoff spot for the sixth consecutive season Saturday afternoon, using an RBI triple from Manny Machado to break an eighth-inning tie en route to a 10-6 victory over the host San Francisco Giants.
The Dodgers (90-71) overcame a rare subpar effort from Clayton Kershaw to officially eliminate St. Louis (88-73) from contention in the National League wild-card race. The Cardinals had won earlier in the day against the Chicago Cubs to temporarily stay alive.
At the same time, Los Angeles temporarily moved within a half-game of Colorado (90-70) atop the NL West, with the Rockies scheduled for a night game at home against Washington.
The NL West runner-up will meet with the Cubs or Milwaukee Brewers in the wild-card game on Tuesday night.
After the Giants had rallied into a 5-5 tie with a two-run fifth inning against Kershaw, the Dodgers got their go-ahead run in the eighth after Chris Taylor led off with a single off San Francisco’s sixth pitcher, Mark Melancon (1-4).
Two outs and a wild pitch later, Machado went the other way for a triple high off the wall in right field, easily plating Taylor with the go-ahead run.
The Dodgers broke the game open with four in the ninth on consecutive two-out singles by Enrique Hernandez and pinch hitter Matt Kemp, an RBI single by Taylor, a two-run double by Max Muncy and a run-scoring infield hit by Cody Bellinger, producing a 10-5 lead.
Alex Wood (9-7) was credited with the win after retiring all four batters he faced in the seventh and eighth innings.
Kershaw was more productive with his bat than with his arm, contributing a two-RBI single to a three-run fourth inning after the Dodgers had fallen behind 3-2.
The staff ace went five innings, allowing five runs and eight hits. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.
The five runs allowed were a career high in 44 starts against the Giants.
Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig hit solo homers for the Dodgers against Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez, staking Kershaw to an early 2-0 lead. The homers were No. 25 for Pederson, No. 23 for Puig.
Rodriguez was pulled three batters into the fourth inning, charged with five runs and six hits in three-plus innings. He walked three and struck out one.
Hernandez collected three hits, while Machado, Taylor, Muncy, Puig and Yasmani Grandal had two apiece for the Dodgers, who outhit the Giants 18-9.
Hunter Pence had two doubles and Joe Panik drove in three runs for the Giants, who lost for the eighth time in their last nine games.
—Field Level Media