Baltimore Sun




Leave the math to everyone else. The Dodgers know how to win baseball games. Mookie Betts hit a threerun homer, Cody Bellinger added a two-run double and the Dodgers beat the Diamondbac­ks 6-0 on Monday night in Phoenix behind Tyler Anderson, becoming the first major league team to clinch a playoff spot this season. For real, this time. The Dodgers thought they had secured a playoff berth Sunday after beating the Padres, celebratin­g with a postgame toast and distributi­ng caps with the postseason logo on them. After further review, the math didn’t quite add up, and the Dodgers were just short. So for the second straight day, the Dodgers celebrated a trip to the postseason. “I don’t know if that’s ever been done,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said with a grin. “But it feels good.” The Dodgers were in position to make it three celebratio­ns in three days on Tuesday, when another win over the Diamondbac­ks would allow them to clinch the NL West. That game ended too late for this edition. The Dodgers won their 97th game of the season Monday and were 54 games over .500. Anderson (15-3) and Diamondbac­ks rookie Ryne Nelson engaged in an impressive pitching duel for the first six innings. The Dodgers broke through against the Diamondbac­ks bullpen in the seventh, loading the bases with no outs. Trayce Thompson snapped the scoreless tie with a sacrifice fly off Kevin Ginkel and then Bellinger pushed the Dodgers ahead 3-0 with a double into the right-center gap. It was a good moment for Bellinger, who was the 2019 NL MVP but hasn’t come close to reaching that level of production since.

He came into the game with a .200 batting average, 17 homers and 55 RBIs. “Belly will be Belly, he’ll be fine,” Betts said. “He always finds ways. He competes. He plays a Gold Glove center field, which is huge. For some odd reason, he comes through in those clutch situations. We always know he’ll be there, be a fierce competitor and be ready when the lights turn on.” Betts crushed a three-run shot to left in the ninth, giving the Dodgers a six-run cushion. It was his 34th homer of the season, a career high. Anderson went seven innings, giving up five hits, walking two and striking out two. “I didn’t think he had his best stuff, to be honest,” Roberts said. “But it just kind of shows his compete and his will. He made pitches when he needed to, got groundball­s, fielded his position and got outs.” Nelson threw six shutout innings in his second major league start, extending his scoreless streak to 13 innings since he was called up to the big leagues last week.

Rays: Jeffrey Springs pitched six shutout innings to win for the fifth time in six decisions, Randy Arozarena drove in two runs and the Rays beat the host Blue Jays 4-2 in a doublehead­er opener Tuesday to stop a three-game losing streak. The second game ended too late for this edition. Yandy Díaz had three hits and scored twice as the Rays (79-61) leapfrogge­d the Jays (79-62) and moved a halfgame ahead of the Jays. The Rays tied the Mariners (79-61) for the first of the three AL wild cards. The Mariners hosted the Padres later Tuesday. Springs (8-4) allowed three hits, all singles, extending his scoreless innings streak to 16 He struck out five and walked two.

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