Dodgers dump D-backs, clinch playoff bye

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Joey Gallo and Chris Taylor homered Monday as the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched a bye into the National League Division Series with a 5-2 victory over the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks.

Gavin Lux had three hits and Clayton Kershaw (9-3) gave up one run and struck out 10 in six innings as the Dodgers (102-44) won for the eighth time in nine games. Los Angeles improved to 12-3 over Arizona this season while taking the opener of a five-game series.

While the Dodgers locked down a top-two spot in the National League, they also reduced their magic number for clinching the best record in the NL to six.

Carson Kelly and Christian Walker each had two hits as the Diamondbacks (68-79) dropped their fourth consecutive game. Arizona right-hander Merrill Kelly (12-7) gave up five runs on eight hits over six innings and dropped to 0-9 with a 5.97 ERA lifetime against Los Angeles in 12 starts.

Gallo gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the second inning with a blast deep into the seats in right field. It was Gallo’s 18th home run of the season and his sixth in 33 games since joining the Dodgers from the New York Yankees at the trade deadline.

Gallo was back at it in the fourth inning with a single to right-center that scored Max Muncy for a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, Chris Taylor hit a three-run home run to left field for a 5-0 lead. Taylor initially was left with a two-run double, but the play was overturned to a homer on review, as the ball bounced off the chest of a fan and back onto the field.

The Diamondbacks finally broke through against Kershaw in the fifth inning when Geraldo Perdomo barely beat out a potential double-play grounder, allowing Kelly to score.

Arizona loaded the bases in the ninth inning against Craig Kimbrel, bringing the tying run to the plate with no outs, but they scored just once, when Sergio Alcantara hit into a double play. Daulton Varsho then popped out to end the game.

The Dodgers, who play 13 of their remaining 16 games at home, are five wins away from breaking the franchise record for a single season. They had 106 wins in both 2019 and 2021.

–Field Level Media

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