Los Angeles Dodgers clinch ninth NL West title in 10 seasons with win over Arizona Diamondbacks

PHOENIX — Clayton Kershaw threw seven dominant innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers won the National League West for the ninth time in 10 seasons, beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-0 Tuesday night.

Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy and Joey Gallo scored as the Dodgers took their best record in the majors to 98-43. They lead second-placed San Diego by a whopping 20 1/2 games.

Manager Dave Roberts’ team will have plenty of time to adjust for their tenth straight year of postseason. The Dodgers’ first playoff game is almost a month away, on October 11th.

The only season the Dodgers didn’t win the division in their last heat was last year — they won 106 times but still finished a game behind San Francisco. Los Angeles then beat the Giants in the NL Division Series before falling to eventual champion Atlanta in the NLCS.

21,143 spectators, mostly dressed in Dodger blue, watched the clincher. It is the Dodgers’ 20th NL West crown since the majors were split into divisions in 1969.

Kershaw (8-3) was sharp throughout, allowing just two singles and a walk while striking out a five. He only threw 82 pitches, 55 for strikes. He lowered his season ERA to 2.44.

Caleb Ferguson and Craig Kimbrel completed the combined three-hit shutout.

Gallo’s home run, his 17th, overcame the midfield wall to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the second. The homer was measured at 438 feet. Muncy was leading the inning with a single from Merrill Kelly — literally — when it bounced off the pitcher onto the empty left side of the infield.

Freeman led the third inning with his 20th homer, a 442-foot drive right to center into the pool area.

Muncy’s homer, also his 20th, met Taylor Widener in the seventh.

Kelly (12-6) lasted five innings and lost for the first time in 14 starts. He gave up five hits, walked five and knocked out eight. He threw 96 pitches — 30 in the long second inning and 29 more in the third.

It was the second consecutive shutout by the Dodgers in Arizona. Tyler Anderson and two helpers beat the Diamondbacks 6-0 on Monday.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34589054/los-angeles-dodgers-clinch-ninth-nl-west-title-10-seasons-win-arizona-diamondbacks Los Angeles Dodgers clinch ninth NL West title in 10 seasons with win over Arizona Diamondbacks

Emma Bowman

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