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Dodgers clinch NL West division title, headed to playoffs

September 19, 2013 3:58:31 PM PDT
The Los Angeles Dodgers have clinched the National League West division title, ensuring their spot in the playoffs.

The Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6 in Phoenix. The team is just the fourth all-time club to finish the season in first place after being in last place on July 1st or later.

"It's so hard to make the playoffs in baseball, 162-game season, and just the grind that we've been through, the ups and downs. This feels amazing," said A.J. Ellis, who had the game-winning homerun. "This has never felt so good in my life."

It's the Dodgers' first NL West title since 2009.

"I know every team says it, but this team, to me, is just special," said Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

The Dodgers led 3-0 in the third inning after a three-run homerun by shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who sat out five of the last six games with an irritated nerve in his lower back. But the Diamondbacks came back, and the Dodgers trailed 6-3 in the sixth.

In the seventh inning, Ramirez hit a tying homerun, marking his 13th career multihomer game and first since Aug. 18 of last year.

A.J. Ellis hit a tiebreaking homer off Josh Collmenter leading off the eighth. J.P. Howell got two outs for the victory. In the ninth, Kenley Jansen fanned Paul Goldschmidt and Martin Prado before Aaron Hill's fly ball ended it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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