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.

“I’d rather the early one versus the late one. We did the late one last year,” manager Dave Roberts said before the game. “I like this one just so you can really get it past you. Give guys rest, put guys in roles and positions you might face in the postseason.”

Though an Arizona loss to the New York Mets would have clinched it for the Dodgers, Los Angeles emphatically took care of business on its own. Seager homered with two on to cap a four-run first inning against Ty Blach (1-3) and added a two-run drive in the third for a 6-0 lead.

Gavin Lux hit his first career homer in the fifth to increase the Dodgers’ NL record for long balls in a season to 258.

TWINS 5, NATIONALS 0: José Berriós surrendered only two singles over seven innings in his best start in six weeks, Mitch Garver hit the tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh inning, and host Minnesota beat Washington in an interleague matchup of teams on postseason tracks.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

METS 3, DIAMONDBACKS 2: Zack Wheeler pitched one-run ball over seven innings, Justin Wilson navigated four difficult outs for his first save since April and host New York beat Arizona.

New York has taken the first two games in this key four-game set between NL playoff contenders. Arizona had won 11 of 14 and opened the day 21/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs for the second wild card.

PHILLIES 6, BRAVES 5: Corey Dickerson hit two of the Phillies five home runs and they earned a key win over Atlanta in Philadelphia.

J.T. Realmuto, Bryce Harper and Dickerson all homered in the first inning, Scott Kingery hit an inside-the-park homer and Dickerson tacked an insurance run with a solo shot late to help the Phillies win for the third time in four games.

 

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