The Dodgers locked up their fourth playoff appearance in six years, getting a two-run single from pinch-hitter Jim Thome 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.
Any combination of Dodgers victories and Rockies losses totaling three will give Los Angeles its first back-to-back division titles since 1977-78. The Rockies played the Cardinals on Saturday night.
The Dodgers didn't celebrate on the field, routinely shaking hands as they always do after a victory but otherwise showing no sign this victory was any different from their previous 91.
The Pirates, losers of 23 of 26 before beating the Dodgers on Friday night, trailed 3-0 before Andy LaRoche homered in the fourth against Randy Wolf. Pittsburgh took a 4-3 lead in the seventh, when Wolf and relievers Hong-Chih Kuo and George Sherrill walked three around Luis Cruz's RBI single and Andrew McCutchen's two-run single.
The Pirates' bullpen, which pitched six shutout innings on Friday, couldn't hold the lead. Manny Ramirez, who went 2 for 2 and scored twice, walked ahead of Ronnie Belliard's single off Denny Bautista (1-1). Phil Dumatrait walked James Loney to load the bases, and Steven Jackson walked Andre Ethier and Orlando Hudson in succession to force in two runs.
Thome followed with a line-drive single to right for his first two RBIs since being dealt by the White Sox to the Dodgers on Aug. 31. He had been 2 for 11, all as a pinch-hitter.
Jackson might have gotten out of the inning with less damage, but Ethier's foul popup fell out of LaRoche's glove as he struck the railing that guards the Pirates' dugout while the third baseman was trying to make a backhanded catch.
Belliard hit his 10th homer, a solo drive in the ninth off Virgil Vasquez.
Pittsburgh is four losses from its third 100-loss season in 55 years.
Sherrill (1-0) got the victory despite giving up a hit and walking one of the three batters he faced. Ramon Troncoso got the final two outs in the eighth and Jonathan Broxton pitched the ninth in a non-save situation.
Wolf strengthened his case to be the Dodgers' No. 1 starter in the playoffs, limiting the Pirates to two runs and four hits in 6 1-3 innings although he didn't get the decision.
The Dodgers, lethargic offensively and defensively during a 3-1 loss on Friday that ended Pittsburgh's six-game losing streak, began the game with three consecutive hits, taking a 1-0 lead on Ramirez's double off Paul Maholm, who gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings.
Ramirez, previously 2 for 14 on a road trip against last-place clubs Washington and Pittsburgh, also walked and scored on Mark Loretta's double in the fourth and singled in the fifth.
The Dodgers also tightened up defensively after playing sloppily Friday, when all the Pirates' scoring was set up by two errors.
Wolf landed on his back while getting Lastings Milledge at first with an off-balance throw in the second. An inning later, catcher Russell Martin picked Cruz off second and Belliard made an excellent play at third to retire McCutchen.
NOTES: There were no delays despite nearly daylong rain in Pittsburgh. A light mist fell at times during the game. ... The Pirates also had a stretch of 24 losses in 28 games during their 104-loss season in 1985. ... The Dodgers are 4-1 against the Pirates and 24-8 in Pittsburgh since 2001. ... Saturday was the 167th day the Dodgers have been in first place, the most in any season since 1977 (175 days). ... The Pirates haven't won successive games since Aug. 21-22.