Dodgers clinch National League West with win over Diamondbacks

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

With the victory on Thursday the Dodgers won the National League West for the first time since 2009.

PHOENIX -- An eighth-inning solo home run by A.J. Ellis lifted the Dodgers over the Diamondbacks, 7-6, on Thursday, allowing Los Angeles to clinch the National League West. The Dodgers, who hold an 10½-game lead with nine contests remaining, are the first team in Major League Baseball to clinch a postseason berth in 2013.

The Dodgers were 12 games under .500 at their low point of the season, 9½ games behind the Diamondbacks. Los Angeles was in last place as late as July 1, making them the fourth team in MLB history to finish in first place after being in last place in July or later, according to Elias Sports, joining the 1914 Braves, 1973 Mets and 1995 Mariners.

After watching his team take a 3-0 lead in the top of the third, Dodgers starter Ricky Nolasco struggled to get an out in the bottom half of the frame. The first four Diamondbacks reached base and the game was tied before he even got an out. Miguel Montero gave Arizona a lead with a single, then Wade Miley doubled in a pair of runs for a 6-3 lead.

It was all Los Angeles from there. Scott Van Slyke and Michael Young each drove in a run in the sixth inning, and Hanley Ramirez homered to left to tie the game at 6-6 in the seventh.

Ellis broke the tie with a home run that just barely found its way over the left field wall, and Kenley Jansen closed it out for his 26th save.

Sept. 19 marks the earliest date the Dodgers have clinched a postseason berth since moving to Los Angeles in 1958. The previous early mark was accomplished in 1977, when the Dodgers secured the NL West on Sept. 20.

More from SB Nation MLB:

Joe Girardi noncommittal about re-signing with Yankees

A.J. Burnett calls out Pirates fans

A night in the life of Yasiel Puig

10 baseball songs you’ve probably never heard

"The Sandlot" cast, 20 years later

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.