Dodgers become first to clinch spot in postseason


Los Angeles (AFP)

AJ Pollock and Chris Taylor hit solo home runs Wednesday as the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres 7-5 to become the first team to clinch a spot in MLB's expanded playoffs.

The win, in the rubber match of a three-game series, increased the 35-15 Dodgers' won-loss lead on the Padres to 3 1/2 games in the National League West standings.

The Dodgers scored runs against five of the nine San Diego pitchers. Left-handed reliever Adam Kolarek earned the win by pitching two-thirds scoreless innings at PETCO stadium in San Diego.

Right-hander Dustin May entered the game in the third inning and held the Padres to three runs on three hits over 5 1/3 innings.

The Dodgers took the lead for good in the third when Max Muncy belted a tie-breaking RBI double off Joey Lucchesi and Will Smith followed with a single to drive in another run and made it 3-1. Smith finished with three RBIs.

Los Angeles broke it open with three runs in the fifth. Taylor scored the Dodgers' final run with a homer off Garrett Richards to lead off the sixth, making it 7-1.