Golden season: D-Backs capture NL West

Paul Goldschmidt sliced a two-run triple into right field, cutting a path for the Arizona Diamondbacks into the postseason.

Goldschmidt's go-ahead hit in the eighth inning Friday night lifted the Diamondbacks to a 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants and gave them their first NL West title in four years.

The opposite field hit got past right fielder Carlos Beltran and ran all the way to the wall, allowing Ryan Roberts and Justin Upton to score to break a 1-1 tie.

J.J. Putz pitched around a leadoff single to Mark DeRosa in the top of the ninth, getting pinch-hitter Aubrey Huff on a fly ball to center field for the final out.

The Diamondbacks celebrated their fifth division crown, and first since 2007, in the infield with dark gray championship hats and T-shirts, one season after finishing with the worst mark in the division.

Goldschmidt walked in the seventh inning and scored the game-tying run on Chris Young's double. It was an important play, but didn't compare to what happened an inning later.

"I think you can say that" it was the biggest hit of my career, Goldschmidt said of his triple. "Obviously it was a big game and I'm glad I was able to help us win."

Arizona's champagne celebration in the locker room spilled out onto the field, as several Arizona players made their way around the field, high-fiving fans and spraying bottles of bubbly in the air.

Later, many of the Diamondbacks climbed the outfield wall and jumped into the Chase Field pool with their uniforms and cleats still on -- one player flipped into the shallow water, while another pulled off a jackknife.

"We set up to accomplish this first plateau," said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson, "and we plan on going a lot farther than this."

The Giants, after falling an insurmountable seven games back of Arizona, face a nearly impossible road to the NL wild card as well.

The reigning World Series champions are five games behind Atlanta with five to play.

"We are breathing," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "Five games left we are still breathing. That is why there is no need to talk. We still got baseball. We will give it our best shot tomorrow."

San Francisco starter Matt Cain, who worked into the fateful eighth, watched the Diamondbacks celebrate and said it brought back memories of last season.

"The excitement of what you get to go through and all that," Cain said.

Joe Saunders carried a personal three-game winning streak into his start and gave the Diamondbacks a chance with seven good innings, allowing just one run and nine hits without a walk.

David Hernandez (5-3) allowed a hit but struck out two in the eighth to get the win, while Putz pushed his career-high saves total to 44.

Arizona moved to 10-5 in its last 15 but remained one game behind Milwaukee for the second-best record in the National League and homefield advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

The Giants fell to 1-3 since their season-high eight-game winning streak.

"I congratulate [the Diamondbacks] and they have had a great year," said Bochy. "They have earned this."

Cain (12-11) gave up a leadoff double to Roberts in the eighth inning and intentionally walked Justin Upton with one out before he was pulled for Javier Lopez.

After Miguel Montero flied out, Sergio Romo came in and had an 0-2 count on Goldschmidt before the right-handed batter looked at a 90 mph fastball, then slapped a 78 mph slider into right.

Orlando Cabrera led off the fifth inning with his fifth homer of the season for a 1-0 Giants lead.

Game Notes

The Giants went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven men on base...The Diamondbacks were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left six on.