Grandal backs Kershaw in Dodgers' 99th win

Grandal backs Kershaw in Dodgers' 99th win

LOS ANGELES -- Yasmani Grandal's sacrifice fly and two-run homer paced the Dodgers to a 3-1 win over the Giants on Sunday at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers are 99-57, their most wins since the club went 102-60 in 1974, and still hold a one-game lead over the Indians for the best record in baseball and a 4 1/2-game lead over the Nationals for home-field advantage in the National League playoffs. Ace Clayton Kershaw made his fifth start since coming off the disabled list, allowing Mac Williamson's homer over eight innings while striking out six.

Williamson's solo homer

The Dodgers' defense also turned four double plays behind Kershaw, the most for a Dodgers pitcher this season.

"[Clayton] was very good today," manager Dave Roberts said. "Six [strikeouts], no walks, got the double plays, the defense played well behind him. [Against a] team that's seen a lot of him, good tempo and rhythm with Yasmani and big hit by Yasmani. A lot of good things today."

Kershaw strikes out six

After Curtis Granderson hit a leadoff single and Logan Forsythe doubled, Grandal hit a sacrifice fly to left field to bring home Granderson. In the fourth, Grandal padded the Dodgers' lead with his two-run shot off Giants righty Chris Stratton. Stratton pitched four innings, allowing three runs on five hits.

"There's a reason they've won as many games as they have, especially when you're going against Kershaw and they're locked in like he was today," Stratton said. "There's not much room for mistakes."

Grandal's sacrifice fly

Williamson and Hunter Pence each collected three hits to account for all but two of the Giants' total.

"He didn't give you a lot to hit, that's for sure," Williamson said of Kershaw. Williamson's first hit was a weak grounder that trickled to a halt about 20 feet in front of home plate.

• Williamson impressive vs. Dodgers ace

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Nice Chase: Chase Utley hit a ground ball to third, where Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval wasn't able to cleanly field the ball. That gave Utley enough time to beat the throw and set up Grandal's two-run shot.

"He was the offense," Kershaw said. "He gave us three RBIs today. Obviously, we needed it. It was good to see him hitting homers and taking walks and situational hitting, sac fly, and a great job behind the plate. He played a big role today."

Extinguishing the threat: Gorkys Hernandez led off the top of the sixth with a double, setting the Giants up with an opportunity to break through against Kershaw. But the southpaw induced a ground ball to short and Hernandez was thrown out at third, then Buster Posey grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Seager, Forysthe nab Hernandez

QUOTABLE
"It's important, but it comes back to playing good baseball, and if we do that, we'll keep home-field advantage. Right now, trying to stay strong and win as many games as we can." -- Roberts, on clinching home-field advantage in the postseason

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Grandal's home run in the fourth was the Dodgers' 212th long ball of the season, breaking a team record that was set in 2000.

Kershaw recorded his 200th strikeout of the season, becoming the first Dodgers player to record seven 200-plus strikeout seasons.

Kershaw's 200th season strikeout

UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Giants manager Bruce Bochy challenged a fourth-inning ruling claiming that fan interference had not been committed. Replays clearly showed that a fan reached over the low right-field barrier in an attempt to catch Chris Taylor's foul fly, which Pence also pursued. The call was overturned and Taylor was declared out, ending the inning.

Fan interference ends 4th

WHAT'S NEXT
Giants: The stage for the Giants' final road series will be set in Phoenix, where they'll face the D-backs in a three-game series beginning Monday at 6:40 p.m. PT. Giants right-hander Johnny Cueto (7-8) will try to return to the .500 mark. Cueto won his first three decisions, but a stretch in which he dropped six of seven decisions in May and June besmirched his record.

Dodgers: Righty Yu Darvish will make his last home start of the season in the series opener vs. the Padres on Monday. Darvish is 1-1 with a 5.29 ERA in three starts vs. the Padres. First pitch is slated for 7:10 p.m. PT.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.