SAN DIEGO (AP) — While the Los Angeles Dodgers are regular participants in postseason baseball, there was something unusual about becoming the first team in the pandemic-shortened season to clinch a berth in the expanded playoffs.

"It's different, I guess. I just found that out five minutes ago," manager Dave Roberts said in his video news conference after the Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 7-5 to take two of three in a matchup of the NL's two top teams.

The Dodgers opened a 3 1/2-game lead in their quest for an eighth straight NL West title by beating the Padres for the second straight day. Dustin May threw 5 1/3 gutty innings out of the bullpen, AJ Pollock and Chris Taylor homered and Will Smith drove in three runs.

"I'm celebrating by saying I'm proud of our guys and it was a great series," said Roberts, who grew up in northern San Diego County and both played for and was a coach with the Padres before getting the Dodgers' job. "I think it caught us all by surprise because we were so focused on trying to win this series. I think word will travel once we get on the plane."

San Diego, quieted by Dodgers pitching a second straight game even as it heads for its first playoff berth since winning the division in 2006, has lost two straight for the first time since mid-August.

May confirmed that as part of COVID-19 protocols, MLB doesn't want teams having wild clubhouse celebrations after clinching.

Asked if the Dodgers had a celebration, he said:

"No. We're not allowed to."

But clinching a postseason spot "is something you grind for for the whole season," he said. "This season is different but we had to grind in the quarantine zone, so you're still going to feel super excited."

At 35-15, the Dodgers breezed into the expanded 16-team postseason field. Los Angeles is seeking its first World Series title since 1988, having lost in the Fall Classic under Roberts in 2017 and 2018.

Mookie Betts tied his career high with three stolen bases, had two hits and scored a run.

San Diego, quieted by Dodgers pitching a second straight game even as it heads for its first playoff berth since winning the division in 2006, has lost two straight for the first time since mid-August.

"Today we just got beat in almost all areas, facets of the game," rookie manager Jayce Tingler said. "We didn't play as clean as we have been defensively. Their guys over there on the mound, they've done a good job pitching, especially the past two days. It was nice to scrap and crawl and fight back in it, but at the end of the day we got into too big a hole to overcome."

May, who had been scheduled to start before Roberts decided to go with a bullpen day, was the Dodgers' third pitcher of the game. He went 5 1/3 innings and was in control until Jurickson Profar homered to right field with two outs in the seventh to pull the Padres to 7-3. Mitch Moreland reached on an error by second baseman Gavin Lux opening the inning.

After Profar's homer, May struck out Trent Grisham and blew off some steam by yelling a few profanities that could be heard around empty Petco Park. Grisham angered the Dodgers by briefly posing at the plate after homering off Clayton Kershaw in the Padres' 7-2 win Monday night.

May allowed Manny Machado's solo homer with one out in the eighth, his 14th, and was lifted by Roberts.

Until the seventh, May had breezed through four innings by allowing only a single and a walk. He struck out six.

May said he felt his outing "was pretty solid. There were some miscues on my end that ended up going a pretty long ways. Just location-wise, it wasn't where I wanted on those two pitches and they took advantage of it."

Starter Brusdar Gasterol allowed a hit and a run in 1 1/3 innings before Adam Kolarek (3-0) allowed a hit and two walks in two-thirds of an inning.

Pedro Baez got the final two outs for his second save.

San Diego used nine pitchers.

Pollock homered past the palm trees to the right of the batter's eye in straightaway center field off rookie Adrian Morejon (2-1) with two outs in the second. It was his 11th. Taylor greeted Garrett Richards with a leadoff shot into the second deck in left -center leading off the sixth, his sixth, for a 7-1 lead.

TATIS JR.'S SLUMP

San Diego's Fernando Tatis Jr., who had been considered the NL MVP front-runner recently, went 0 for 4 to extend his slump to 2 for 27 over eight games. His average has dropped from .314 to .281.

"I don't think he's tired," Tingler said. "I think last night he missed a homer by two or three feet, I thought he squared three balls up today. Unfortunately, they were right into the lanes they were playing. Just going through a little pocket, maybe trying to do too much at times. But I think he's in position to get extremely hot for us down the stretch."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Dodgers: Placed LHP Caleb Ferguson on the IL with what Roberts said was "a pretty good" tear in his UCL. Ferguson had an MRI in Los Angeles earlier Wednesday after facing just one batter Tuesday night. To take his roster spot, RHP Josh Sborz was recalled. .... Pollock came out late in the game with tightness in a hamstring.

Padres: Reinstated C Francisco Mejía (bruised left thumb) from the 10-day IL and optioned OF Abraham Almonte to the alternate training site.

UP NEXT

Dodgers: LHP Julio Urías (3-0, 3.53) is scheduled to start the opener of a four-game series Thursday night at Colorado, which will counter with LHP Kyle Freeland (2-1, 3.54).

Padres: RHP Chris Paddack (3-4, 4.74) is scheduled to start Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Seattle.

NATIONALS 4, RAYS 2, 10 inn.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Rookie Luis García hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning and Washington beat the AL East-leading Tampa Bay.

With Carter Kieboom on second base to start extra innings, the 20-year-old García hit a leadoff drive on the first pitch from Nick Anderson (1-1).

Brandon Lowe got the Rays even at 2 when he hit a solo homer off Daniel Hudson (2-2) on a 2-2 pitch with two outs in the ninth.

Kyle McGowin struck out three in the 10th to get his first save.

Asdrúbal Cabrera homered and Austin Voth allowed one run and four hits over five innings for the Nationals.

ATHLETICS 3, ROCKIES 1

DENVER (AP) — Mike Fiers threw six sharp innings before turning it over to a lights-out bullpen and Oakland snapped a six-game skid against Colorado.

Fiers (6-2) picked up the win. Liam Hendriks got the final five outs to pick up his 13th save in 14 chances.

Tony Kemp made an acrobatic move to score the game's first run. Caught in a rundown heading for home, he somehow swerved around the tag of first baseman Josh Fuentes — who was covering the plate — and touched home with his left hand as he tumbled to the dirt.

Jake Lamb had two hits, including an RBI single as part of a two-run sixth that gave the Athletics a 3-1 lead.

It was another hard-luck loss for Rockies ace Germán Márquez (2-6). He struck out six and issued a season-high four walks.

CARDINALS 4, BREWERS 2, 1st game

BREWERS 6, CARDINALS 0, 2nd game

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Brent Suter and three relievers combined on a two-hitter, Ryan Braun hit his 350th career homer and Milwaukee earned a doubleheader split against St. Louis.

The Cardinals took the opener behind Adam Wainwright's four-hitter.

The Brewers scored four runs in the first inning on just one hit, the three-run homer by Braun.

Suter allowed two hits over three scoreless innings, walking two and striking out three. Freddy Peralta (3-1) followed with two perfect innings, striking out three. Devin Williams struck out two in a perfect sixth, and Eric Yardley retired the side in the seventh.

Jacob Nottingham's third homer, a two-run shot in the sixth, put the Brewers up 6-0.

Johan Oviedo (0-3), activated off the injured list earlier in the day after passing a rapid test for COVID-19, allowed six runs in 5 1/3 innings. He hit three batters with pitches.

In the opener, Wainwright (5-1) shook off an early home run, striking out nine in the seven-inning complete game.

Christian Yelich hit a one-out single in the Milwaukee first and Keston Huira followed with his 13th home run.

Tyler O'Neill hit a solo homer in the second and Brad Miller hit his seventh homer, a solo drive in the sixth.

Brandon Woodruff (2-4), who also went the distance, allowed three earned and seven hits. He struck out five and walked none.

REDS 1, PIRATES 0

CINCINNATI (AP) — Luis Castillo pitched a masterful seven innings, Shogo Akiyama drove in the game's only run, and Cincinnati extended its winning streak to a season-high five games.

Castillo (3-5) retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced and gave up only three hits and a walk with 10 strikeouts. Archie Bradley pitched a perfect eighth before Raisel Iglesias pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his eighth save.

Pittsburgh rookie J.T. Brubaker (1-2) tied his career high with 5 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and the lone run with one walk and four strikeouts.

The Pirates set a season low for hits and couldn't get a runner past first base on the way to their season-high eighth straight loss.

ROYALS 4, TIGERS 0

DETROIT (AP) — Brady Singer was stellar for a second straight start, allowing two hits in six innings, and Kansas City blanked Detroit.

Singer (3-4) struck out the first five Detroit hitters and retired the first 10. He struck out eight with one walk.

Salvador Perez homered and drove in three runs for the Royals, who have won seven of eight.

Tarik Skubal (1-3) allowed two earned runs and four hits in six innings in this matchup of rookie starters. He struck out eight with no walks.

Detroit has lost four of five.

ORIOLES 5, BRAVES 1

BALTIMORE (AP) — Cole Hamels finally got on the mound in an Atlanta uniform, allowing three runs to Baltimore before reaching his predetermined pitch count in the fourth inning, and the Braves struggled offensively in a loss the Orioles.

Rookie Keegan Akin struck out nine over five scoreless innings to earn his first big league victory.

The Braves got only six hits — all of them singles — and their lone run scored on a balk. Atlanta hasn't won a series in Baltimore since 2004.

Hamels (0-1) gave up a first-inning single and retired the side in order in the second before running into trouble in the third. Austin Hays hit a leadoff double and Hamels got an 0-2 count on No. 9 hitter Andrew Velazquez before issuing a walk. Hanser Alberto followed with an RBI double, José Iglesias hit a run-scoring grounder and Ryan Mountcastle delivered a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 lead.

Akin (1-1) allowed three hits and a walk in his fourth career start. In his previous outing, the lefty didn't make it out of the first inning of a 10-1 loss to the Yankees.

YANKEES 13, BLUE JAYS 2

NEW YORK (AP) — Kyle Higashioka hit a career-high three home runs, DJ LeMahieu connected twice and the resurgent Yankees hit a season-best seven homers in beating Toronto.

Luke Voit lofted a three-run drive for his major league-leading 19th homer and Clint Frazier added a solo shot as the Yankees won their seventh straight game.

Gerrit Cole (6-3) had another overpowering start for New York, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth. The right-hander completed seven innings of three-hit ball, striking out eight and walking two.

New York is the first team in major league history to have their Nos. 1 and 9 hitters connect at least twice in the same game, according to STATS.

Jonathan Villar ended Cole's no-hit bid with a leadoff double in the sixth. Villar later scored on Cole's wild pitch. Nick Nelson allowed Joe Panik's solo homer in the ninth before finishing off the five-hitter.

MARLINS 8, RED SOX 4

MIAMI (AP) — Jorge Alfaro homered twice before he took a foul ball to his helmet and Miami beat Boston.

Garrett Cooper also homered and scored twice for Miami, which moved within 2 1/2 games of first-place Atlanta in the NL East.

Alfaro, the Marlins' catcher, was removed in the seventh inning as a precaution after Christian Vázquez's foul ball beaned him.

Miami chased Boston starter Michael Kickham with a four-run third.

Yimi Garcia (2-0) pitched a perfect eighth and was credited with the win. Brandon Kintzler worked a scoreless ninth.

Alex Verdugo had three hits, a walk and scored twice for Boston.

METS 5, PHILLIES 4

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jacob deGrom exited early from a rare rough outing because of a right hamstring spasm, but the Mets overcame a four-run deficit and rallied past Philadelphia.

Phillies reliever Hector Neris (2-2) dropped the ball on the mound for a balk that moved the go-ahead run to second base in the ninth inning. Mets rookie Andres Gimenez hit an RBI single to put New York ahead.

The 32-year-old deGrom (4-2) allowed three earned runs in a start for the first time this season, pushing his ERA back over 2.00 at 2.09. The right-hander was pulled after only 40 pitches and one strikeout.

But the Mets became the latest team to strike against the beleaguered Phillies bullpen.

Miguel Castro (2-1) struck out the final two batters of the eighth and left two runners stranded to earn the win. Edwin Diaz worked the ninth for his fourth save.

Jean Segura' hit his sixth homer in the fourth.

RANGERS 1, ASTROS 0

HOUSTON (AP) — Kyle Gibson threw a four-hitter and Joey Gallo hit a ground-rule RBI double with two outs in the ninth inning to lift Texas over Houston.

It was the first career shutout for the 32-year-old Gibson and third complete game. Gibson (2-5) walked three and struck out a season-high nine to earn his first win since Aug. 15.

Leody Taveras singled on a sharp grounder that first baseman Yuli Gurriel couldn't scoop up to start the ninth and advanced to second on a groundout by Isiah Kiner-Falefa for the second out. Gallo had two strikes when he connected off Ryan Pressly (1-3) for a line drive that bounced just inside the right field line to send Taveras home.

TWINS 5, WHITE SOX 1

CHICAGO (AP) — Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano each hit a two-run homer, and Minnesota denied the White Sox a chance to clinch their first playoff berth in 12 years.

Eddie Rosario also went deep and Minnesota pitchers retired their final 18 batters against the AL Central leaders. Chicago, which had won six straight and nine of 10, had an opportunity to secure its first postseason spot since 2008 with a win and a Mariners loss.

After dropping the first two in the four-game series, the second-place Twins moved within two games of Chicago in the division standings.

Minnesota reliever Cody Stashak (1-0) helped piece together the win for the Twins. Tyler Duffey was perfect in the seventh and the eighth with two strikeouts, and Trevor May struck out the side in the ninth to finish the two-hitter.

José Abreu homered in the fourth for the White Sox, who have lost just six times in 28 games.

Twins pitching got 18 consecutive outs after Abreu's homer.

CUBS 3, INDIANS 2, 10 inn.

CHICAGO (AP) — Javier Báez's RBI single in the 10th inning lifted the Cubs to their fourth straight win.

Automatic runner Ian Happ advanced to third when Kris Bryant greeted Phil Maton (2-2) with a groundball single to open the 10th. After Anthony Rizzo was walked intentionally to load the bases, Maton fanned Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber. Then Báez's liner to left scored Happ and sent the Indians to their eighth straight loss, their longest slide since June 2013.

The Cubs won their fourth straight. Five Cubs relievers followed Lester with a scoreless inning each. Jason Adam (2-1) pitched the 10th.

Oscar Mercado hit a solo shot off Jon Lester in the fifth to tie the game at 2.

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