As it prepares for its season-ending series, Los Angeles’ magic number to clinch the NL West is down to one. Holding a three-game lead over the Giants with three to play, the Dodgers can wrap up the division by winning just one of their remaining games.
A San Francisco sweep would either force a one-game playoff for the division title or give the Giants the NL West championship based on a 10-9 season record against Los Angeles if Houston loses at least once. The Dodgers would earn the NL wild card in that scenario.
The Giants jumped back into a tie with the Astros atop the wild-card race with a 4-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Thursday.
Ross, batting just .169, hit a 2-1 pitch from Steve Reed over the left-field wall after Alex Cora was hit by a pitch from Brian Fuentes. It was Ross’ first at-bat of the game and his fifth homer of the year.
The Dodgers, who had rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the 10th inning, mobbed Ross at the plate and the sellout crowd of 53,438 stood and cheered for several minutes.
While the Giants would need a sweep to have a chance to win the division, they have put themselves in a favorable position to earn the wild card.
“We have two chances now,” Giants manager Felipe Alou said. “In the wild card, and we’ll have something to do with the pennant race.”
Jerome Williams pitched seven strong innings in his first start in two months in Thursday’s win over the Padres. He had been out since July 30 while recovering from elbow surgery.
Ray Durham, who wasn’t cleared to play until two hours before game time after straining his right quadriceps on Wednesday night, homered to lead off the fourth—sparking a four-run inning.
Barry Bonds, third on the all-time list with 702 homers, beat out an infield single in the eighth inning to improve to just 1-for-10 over his last three games.
San Francisco has won three of its last five.