Back in control of their own destiny in some regard, the Los Angeles Dodgers jumped all over the San Francisco Giants, 15-0, to complete a series sweep. It represented their first time doing so at AT&T Park since July 25-27, 2014.
But more importantly, by holding serve, the Dodgers will now face the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium in Game 163 of the season to determine a National League West champion. The winner will then play the Atlanta Braves in the NL Division Series, while the loser becomes the second team in the Wild Card Game.
While there was plenty of discussion over the Dodgers opting to start Rich Hill instead of Walker Buehler in the series finale, it wound up proving to be a moot point.
A walk by Chris Taylor, RBI double from Justin Turner, and David Freese’s RBI single gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead before Andrew Suárez could record an out.
They blew the game open in the third inning when singles by Manny Machado and Kiké Hernandez drove in a run each, and Matt Kemp plated two more with his double. A wild pitch and Brian Dozier’s two-run homer capped off the seven-running inning.
Hernandez’s second of three hits gave the Dodgers a 10- lead in the fourth. Kemp followed with an RBI double, and Dozier tacked on a sacrifice fly. Max Muncy found water in the fifth inning as his two-run home run landed in McCovey Cove.
Hill not only ensured the abundance of run support held up, he was largely dominant despite starting on short notice. The performance backed up Hill’s stance that he was prepared to pitch Sunday or Monday.
He retired the first 10 in a row before allowing a one-out base hit to Joe Panik in the fourth inning. Evan Longoria also singled but Hill was out of the inning on a force out and strikeout.
Those were the only two hits Hill allowed as he collected seven strikeouts and got through seven shutout innings on 75 pitches. Hill’s outing was a significant boon for the Dodgers in that they will have essentially all of their bullpen and 40-man roster available for Monday’s game.