Dodgers clinch 7th straight NL West title, 1st playoff team

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts waves his cap to the crowd after the team's baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, in Baltimore. The Dodgers won 7-3, clinching their seventh consecutive NL West title. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

BALTIMORE — The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched their seventh consecutive NL West title in fitting fashion, using two home runs by Corey Seager and a masterful pitching performance by Walker Buehler to beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-3 on Tuesday night.

After the final out, the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff spot this season gathered at the mound for a subdued celebration that included a wardrobe change for a pending champagne celebration in the clubhouse.

Los Angeles, coming off consecutive World Series losses to Houston and Boston and seeking its first title since 1988, will likely begin the postseason at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 3 against the NL wild-card team.

The Dodgers, with a power-packed lineup and imposing rotation, gained sole possession of first place on April 17 and never looked back. Their final pursuer was the Arizona Diamondbacks, who started the day a whopping 17½ games out of first place.

This is the earliest that Los Angeles (94-52) has ever clinched the division, both in terms of date and games. The 1977 team did it in Game 151, and the 2013 club clinched on Sept. 19.

Last year, the Dodgers didn't wrap up the division until the 163rd game of the season, defeating Colorado in a playoff on Oct. 1.

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