Darvish, Bellinger com­bine to lead Dodgers past Gi­ants

Manteca Bulletin - - Local -

SAN FRAN­CISCO (AP) — Yu Darvish de­clined to say what ex­actly he did to get his pitch­ing me­chan­ics back in rhythm. The righthander would only ac­knowl­edge that he quit fo­cus­ing on so many things and kept his ap­proach sim­ple.

What­ever it was, it worked out very well for the Dodgers.

Darvish and two re­liev­ers com­bined on a five-hit­ter, Cody Bellinger hit his 37th home run and Los An­ge­les won back-to-back games for the first time in nearly three weeks, beat­ing the San Fran­cisco Gi­ants 4-1 on Wed­nes­day night.

The win low­ered the Dodgers’ magic num­ber to seven for clinch­ing the NL West crown. Los An­ge­les se­cured at least a wild-card berth in the play­offs Tues­day night with a vic­tory that ended its 11-game los­ing streak, the club’s long­est since

mov­ing to the West Coast in 1958.

“Yu needed it,” Dodgers man­ager Dave Roberts said. “It seemed like he was on the at­tack, go­ing af­ter guys. His tempo was good. I thought he was in con­trol the en­tire game. He was out­stand­ing.”

Darvish, ac­quired from Texas at the July 31 trade dead- line, was 2-3 with a 5.34 ERA in six pre­vi­ous starts with Los An­ge­les but was crisp in his first ca­reer out­ing against San Fran­cisco. The four-time Al­lS­tar pitched three-hit ball over seven in­nings, struck out five and al­lowed only three run­ners while fac­ing one bat­ter more than the min­i­mum.

It came one day af­ter Darvish’s re­al­iza­tion that he didn’t need to worry about try­ing to fix too much. That sim­pli­fied ap­proach worked, although Darvish wasn’t say­ing what specif­i­cally he fo­cused on.

“It’s a se­cret,” he said through a trans­la­tor. “If I say it here, ev­ery­body’s go­ing to start do­ing it. It’s not go­ing to work, so I can­not say. I thought if I just fo­cus on that thing that I was fo­cus­ing on to­day, I wasn’t able to think about other stuff.”

Bran­don Morrow pitched the eighth and Walker Buehler al­lowed a run in the ninth be­fore strik­ing out De­nard Span to end it.

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