Dodgers win fifth division championship;Giants drop 4-2 contest to open series

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Logan Forsythe sprays sparkling wine in the locker room after the Dodgers won the NL West title with a 4-2 defeat of the San Francisco Giants in a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

By Jeremy Kahn

On the same day that the Los Angeles Dodgers and their fans celebrated Tommy Lasorda’s 90th birthday, the team celebrated something else with their win.

Cody Bellinger hit his National League rookie record 39th home run, helping the Dodgers to a 4-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium.

With the victory, the Dodgers clinched their fifth straight National League Western Division Championship.

The Bellinger home run off of Jeff Samardzija in the bottom of the third inning, broke a 1-1 tie and gave the Dodgers the lead for good.

Bellinger broke the record of Wally Berger of the Boston Braves in 1930 and tied by Frank Robinson of the Cincinnati Reds. The major league held by Mark McGwire, who set the record while playing for the Oakland A’s in 1987 with a total of 49.

Rich Hill won for the 11th time this season, as he allowed just one run and five hits in six innings of work. Hill also added five strikeouts and a huge double.

Hill hit his first double in 10 years to score Logan Forsythe, who doubled himself. Corey Seager then walked and Bellinger launched a Samardzija pitch into the right-center field bleachers.

Samardzija lost for the 15th time on the season, as he gave up four runs and five hits and the Giants have lost their most games since 1996 with the 94 losses.

The Giants took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, as Gorkys Hernandez reached on a bunt single, stole second and then scored on a Buster Posey single.

NOTES: Madison Bumgarner goes to the mound on Saturday night, as he looks to stop a four-game losing streak and the Giants have not won a Bumgarner start since defeating the Miami Marlins on August 15.

The Dodgers will send Hyun-Jin Ryu to the mound, as he looks to his improve his strong streak down the stretch. Ryu is 3-1 with a 2.62 earned run average in his 11 starts.

Austin Slater could be out for a couple of days with a sore right hip flexor.

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