Los Angeles

Dodgers Win 3rd Consecutive NL West Title With Shutout of Giants

It's a battle of MVPs as Clayton Kershaw is on the mound opposite Madison Bumgarner in San Francisco with a chance to clinch the NL West Division for the Dodgers and punch their ticket to the playoffs.

Clayton Kershaw went toe-to-toe with reigning World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner and delivered the knockout blow.

Kershaw threw a complete-game, one-hit, shutout in the fourth meeting between the MVPs this season and the Los Angeles Dodgers crushed the San Francisco Giants 8-0 to punch their ticket to the postseason.

With the victory, the Dodgers clinch their third consecutive NL West Division title.

Kershaw struck out 13 batters, retiring the last 19 he faced en route to his 21st complete game of his career, allowing no runs on just one-hit, for his 16th victory of the season.

Kiké Hernandez, Justin Ruggiano and A.J. Ellis all homered for as the Dodgers hit three home runs off Bumgarner including back-to-back jacks in the sixth inning.

Bumgarner allowed four runs (three earned) with six strikeouts in 5.2 innings, yet he still received a standing ovation by San Francisco fans as he came off the mound as the losing pitcher on record.

Many critics have pointed the finger at Kershaw over the years, claiming he withers under the spotlight of big games, especially in the postseason.

But on a night where the atmosphere was electric, and the intensity was high, Kershaw rose to the occasion the way that Rocky Balbao did when he knocked out Ivan Drago, winning over the cold war nation in the process.

While the San Francisco Fans didn't chant, "Lets Go Dodgers," the LA fans did after the home fans headed for the exits in the 8th inning with the Dodgers leading 8-0.

Dodgers super-utility player Kiké Hernandez arrived in San Francisco just in time to help the Dodgers clinch the NL West after he came off the disabled list on Monday.

Hernandez scored the first run of the game, and homered off Bumgarner in the third inning. The 448-foot blast to the giant glove out in left-center was the longest home run hit off Bumgarner this season.

Ruggiano and Ellis went back-to-back off Bumgarner for the sixth time this season. While those two bombs will go on the final score sheet, Kershaw's 13-pitch at-bat off Bumgarner in the bottom of the fifth will not.

Kershaw increased Bumgarner's pitch count with the at-bat, helping the big lefty reach 100 pitches, ultimately forcing him out of the game after he surrendered the back-to-back blasts.

Corey Seager hit an RBI single in the top of the 8th inning, extending his Los Angeles Dodgers record for consecutive games reaching base to start a career at 21.
Andre Ethier hit a two-run, pinch-hit, triple in the inning as the Dodgers added four insurance runs.

With the victory, the Dodgers eliminate the reigning World Series Champions from the postseason, and snap their seven-game losing streak in San Francisco this season.

Game Notes:
Dodgers last clinched the NL West in 1977 in San Francisco, Rick Monday hit a two-run home run to give the Dodgers the victory.

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