Dodgers clinch playoff spot, beat Pirates 8-4

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PITTSBURGH (AP)—The Dodgers locked up their fourth playoff appearance in six years, getting a two-run single from pinch-hitter Jim Thome(notes) during a four-run eighth inning in which Pirates relievers walked four before going on to beat Pittsburgh 8-4 on Saturday night.

Manager Joe Torre is headed to the postseason for a record-tying 14th straight time—only the Braves’ Bobby Cox has accomplished the feat—after the Dodgers assured themselves of at least a wild-card spot. They also cut their magic number to three for winning the NL West for the second consecutive season.

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