Baseball / MLB

Dodgers lower magic number to 2 with victory over Giants

AP

The Dodgers are on the verge of another runaway division title, and still there was anxiety Sunday.

Matt Beaty homered to end a 12-inning scoreless streak, Corey Seager also connected and Los Angeles beat the San Francisco Giants 5-0 to reduce their magic number to clinch the NL West to two.

“Getting us on the board was a sigh of relief a little bit,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “It’s just one of those things that we haven’t been putting hits together, and so with two outs to get a walk and put a crooked number on the board, and to get a lead, was a good thing.”

Kenta Maeda (9-8) replaced Julio Urías after two innings and threw four innings of dominant relief, retiring his first 10 batters. The right-hander is being transitioned into a relief role for the postseason to help an inconsistent bullpen. He gave up one hit and struck out six.

“It just looked like he was more aggressive and with two strikes he wasn’t relying on the slider as much,” Dodgers catcher Russell Martin said. “He did a good job of playing the cat-and-mouse game with the slider and the fastball.”

The Dodgers (93-52) can lock up their seventh consecutive division title Tuesday at Baltimore when they open a three-game series.

After Beaty’s two-out, two-run homer in the fourth inning, Corey Seager added a three-run shot in the fifth as the Dodgers increased their NL-record homer total to 255. They are 79-33 in games when they hit a home run. This year’s Twins hold the major league record with 274 homers.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy was on the bench for the last time in a game at Dodger Stadium before he retires after the season. He finished 107-108 in the ballpark and has the most victories of any visiting manager there.

Bochy will end his managerial career with three games against the Dodgers at San Francisco from Sept. 27-29. He still needs five victories for 2,000.

“I have been fortunate to be able to experience all these (Dodgers-Giants) games,” Bochy said. “We played a lot of close games over the years. That’s how we play each other.”

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