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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — The San Francisco Giants become first MLB team to clinch a playoff berth this season with 9-1 win over San Diego Padres.
It will be the first post-season for the Giants since 2016 and the win marks the earliest the team has ever clinched a playoff berth.
After finishing 29-31 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, the Giants have done a complete turnaround in manager Gabe Kapler’s second season. They have the best record in baseball (94-50) with 18 games remaining — nine of them against the Padres, who are trying to win an NL wild card.
San Francisco extended its latest hot streak by getting early power at the plate and steady pitching from the bullpen after opener Dominic Leone threw two strong innings.
Tommy La Stella connected on the fourth pitch from Padres starter Yu Darvish and Evan Longoria hit a three-run shot five batters later. Mike Yastrzemski added a solo homer in the fourth when Brandon Belt also went deep.
All four home runs came off Darvish (8-10).
The five-time All-Star continued to struggle in his first season with San Diego after starting 6-1. Darvish lasted four innings, allowing six hits and eight runs.
The Padres scored on back-to-back doubles by Trent Grisham and Fernando Tatis Jr. off Jarlin García in the third.
Zack Littell (3-0) retired five batters to get the win. José Álvarez, Camilo Doval and Kervin Castro followed and combined for four scoreless innings.
Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers had two hits apiece for San Diego. The Padres fell one game behind idle Cincinnati for the second NL wild card.
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