Matt Kamlet, CBSLA.com
CHAVEZ RAVINE (CBSLA.com) — The Dodger clubhouse is going to smell of champagne for quite some time.
The Dodgers clinched the National League West on Wednesday night, behind an eight inning, one run effort by Clayton Kershaw to defeat the San Francisco Giants 9-1.
It is the second consecutive year the Dodgers have won the NL West title.
Kershaw found himself in a bit of trouble in the 3rd inning, giving up an infield single to Joaquin Arias and a single to Gregor Blanco, before advancing both runners on a balk.
However, after robbing Hudson of a single with an absolutely acrobatic behind-the-back grab, Kershaw was able to limit the damage to a single run.
Kershaw, who won his 21st game of the season Wednesday night, then provided his own run support in the bottom of the 5th inning, roping a standup triple to right-center to score Carl Crawford, who had been hit by a pitch before stealing second. Kershaw’s triple tied the game 1-1.
It was his first career triple.
The Dodger bats continued to heat up into the following inning when Yasiel Puig hit a towering solo shot to right to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.
Following the homer, Matt Kemp knocked a double to deep right, just before Hanley Ramirez was intentionally walked to bring up Carl Crawford.
Crawford rewarded Bochy’s decision with a double to right, which scored both runners, extending the Dodger lead to 4-1.
They weren’t done.
After Jean Machi replaced Javier Lopez on the mound, Juan Uribe, having just lined a near-homer foul, singled to left to score Crawford.
Puig continued the fireworks into the top of the 7th.
After Kershaw allowed back to back singles, Blanco attempted to round second en route to third base. Unfortunately for him, Puig was the one who collected the grounder in the outfield.
Spinning to his right, he fired a laser all the way to Juan Uribe at third, who tagged Blanco out without the Giant ever touching the bag.
Kershaw escaped the inning by striking out Hunter Pence.
After loading the bases in the bottom of the 8th, Juan Uribe connected on a single through the hole and into right field to score two more runs, giving the Dodgers a 7-1 lead. A.J. Ellis’ fielder’s choice with one out later in the inning made it 8-1.
The inning remained alive after Juan Gutierrez walked Puig with the bases loaded, stretching the inning to 9-1.
According to ESPN, the Dodgers are now the first team in the divisional era (since 1969), to win back-to-back division titles after trailing by at least nine games that year.