Giants clinch wild card spot, look to build on even-year magic

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants are at it again, advancing to the postseason in an even year.

The winners of World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014 became the last National League team to enter the 2016 postseason dance with a 7-1 victory over the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Giants’ wild-card status should not be considered a hindrance. They won the 2014 title as a wild-card entry and will open this year’s playoff run with a wild-card game at New York on Wednesday against the Mets.

The Giants had the best record in baseball at the All-Star break, but stumbled in the second half because of an inconsistent offense and a downtrodden bullpen. But a three-game sweep of the Dodgers on the final weekend of the season was enough to open the playoff door.

The Giants exposed a major Dodgers weakness by starting three left-handed pitchers in the season’s final three games. Madison Bumgarner was the winning pitcher Friday, rookie Ty Blach defeated Clayton Kershaw on Saturday, and Matt Moore finished off the job Sunday by giving up one run on three hits over eight innings.

The Giants outscored the Dodgers 19-4 in the three-game series and will carry momentum into their matchup with the Mets. The Dodgers open the National League Division Series on Friday at Washington having lost five of their last six games after clinching their fourth consecutive NL West title last Sunday.

Buster Posey led the Giants’ offense with three RBIs on Sunday, getting the offense going early with a two-run single in the first inning. He added an RBI single in the second inning.

Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda, who received a $1.5 million bonus for making his 32nd start, gave up all five runs in the first two innings. He went just 2 2/3 innings in his final tuneup before the playoffs, giving up his five runs on nine hits and two walks.