Phoenix, AZ – The Los Angeles Dodgers became the first team to clinch a playoff spot, wrapping up the National League West title with Thursday's 7-6 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
The Dodgers squandered a 3-0 lead and rallied from a three-run deficit, with A.J. Ellis' leadoff homer in the eighth inning breaking the 6-6 tie and securing Los Angeles' first division crown since 2009.
Hanley Ramirez clubbed two homers and drove in four runs as part of a 4-for-5 performance for the Dodgers, who became just the fourth club all-time to go from being in last place on July 1st or later to finishing in first place.
"It feels good, it really does," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "I'm a guy that doesn't show a lot of emotion and I really try to keep it even, but this is a great accomplishment for these guys."
Neither team was retired in order until Los Angeles reliever Brian Wilson turned the trick in the bottom of the eighth. Closer Kenley Jansen duplicated the feat an inning later to earn his 26th save and help the Dodgers split this four-game set.
The Diamondbacks did all their damage in the third, quickly erasing the lead Los Angeles had taken on Ramirez' three-run blast to left in the top half of the inning.
Arizona opened the frame with four straight hits off starter Ricky Nolasco. Paul Goldschmidt plated a run with a ground-rule double and Martin Prado hit the ball the other way into the right-field corner for a two-run triple. A one-out single by Miguel Montero scored Prado, and consecutive two-out doubles by Gerardo Parra and starting pitcher Wade Miley put the Diamondbacks up 6-3.
Both Nolasco and Miley pitched five innings.
"I was struggling with everything, couldn't locate much of anything," Miley said.
Will Harris relieved Miley to begin the sixth and didn't retire a batter, allowing three hits, including back-to-back doubles by Juan Uribe and Scott Van Slyke that produced a run. Van Slyke then scored on Michael Young's sacrifice fly.
Ramirez drew the Dodgers even in the next inning with a leadoff smash deep to the gap in left-center field off Chaz Roe. Arizona stranded the go-ahead run at second against J.P. Howell (3-1) in the home seventh.
Ellis drove Josh Collmenter's (4-4) first pitch in the eighth to the seats in left.
Nolasco had gone 3-0 with a 0.83 ERA in three previous starts against Arizona this season ... The Diamondbacks' bullpen had a 1.86 ERA over the last six games ... Goldschmidt finished with 21 RBI against the Dodgers this year ... Arizona still won the season series 10-9.