Los Angeles Dodgers heading to playoffs for eighth straight season
SAN DIEGO -- The Los Angeles Dodgers became the first team to clinch a playoff spot in the pandemic-shortened Major League Baseball season, beating the San Diego Padres 7-5 on Wednesday behind Dustin May's gutty effort out of the bullpen and home runs from A.J. Pollock and Chris Taylor.
The Dodgers are heading to the postseason for the eighth straight year, the longest active streak and the third longest in MLB history, behind only the 1991-2005 Braves (14) and 1995-2007 Yankees (13).
Will Smith drove in three runs for the seven-time defending NL West champion Dodgers, who opened a 3 1/2-game lead in the division by winning two of three in the matchup of the NL's two best teams.
Mookie Betts tied his career high with three stolen bases, had two hits and scored a run.
At 35-15, the Dodgers breezed into the expanded 16-team postseason field. Los Angeles is seeking its first World Series title since 1988.
San Diego, quieted by Dodgers pitching a second straight game even as it heads for its first playoff berth since winning the division in 2006, has lost two straight for the first time since mid-August.
San Diego's Fernando Tatis Jr., who had been considered the NL MVP front-runner recently, went 0 for 4 to extend his slump to 2 for 27 over eight games. His average has dropped from .314 to .281.
May, who had been scheduled to start before manager Dave Roberts decided to go with a bullpen day, was the Dodgers ...
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