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Dodgers keep rolling with victory against Mariners

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    Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw signs autographs before a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

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    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Jason Heyward hits a solo home run on a pitch from Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Logan Gilbert during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

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    Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Shelby Miller works against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

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    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Jason Heyward hits an RBI single against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

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    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Amed Rosario runs to third base on his triple against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Ryan Yarbrough throws to a...

    Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Ryan Yarbrough throws to a Seattle Mariners batter during the second inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ James Outman hits a solo home run...

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ James Outman hits a solo home run off Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Dominic Leone during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

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    From left, Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder James Outman, left fielder David Peralta, and right fielder Jason Heyward, celebrate the team’s 6-1 win over the Seattle Mariners in a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

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    Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Jason Heyward, left, celebrates with shortstop Amed Rosario (31) after their win over the Seattle Mariners in a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers closing pitcher Gavin Stone throws to a...

    Los Angeles Dodgers closing pitcher Gavin Stone throws to a Seattle Mariners batter during the ninth inning a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Seattle. The Dodgers on 6-1. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

SEATTLE  — When you’re a team as good as the Dodgers, even a day of rest can turn into a fun time at the ballpark.

Playing without their two best hitters in the lineup, as Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman both took the day off after the team clinched the NL West title the night before, the Dodgers pitching staff kept the Mariners swinging at the wind, and the reserve-laden lineup pounded out 10 hits as the Dodgers swept aside Seattle in a 6-1 victory.

Dodgers pitchers combined to strike out 13 Mariners hitters.

The sweep is the Dodgers’ 12th of the season, and the win puts the team’s magic number to clinch a first-round bye in the playoffs at seven.

Mariners starter Logan Gilbert (13-6) labored through five innings against the Dodgers hitters, as the Dodgers got to him for seven hits and five earned runs.

Jason Heyward had another big day at the plate after finishing Saturday with four hits, including three doubles. Heyward had three more hits on Sunday, including a solo homer in the first inning that put the Dodgers ahead for good, and an RBI single in the fourth.

The Dodgers plated three more runs in the second when Amed Rosario hit a one-out triple, and then scored on an RBI single from former Mariner Kolten Wong.

Wong then watched as backup Austin Barnes clubbed a homer to left field to put the Dodgers up by four. The homer was just Barnes’ second of the season in 54 games.

The Mariners got one back on a bases-loaded single from J.P. Crawford in the bottom of the second, but Heyward’s single in the fourth made it 5-1.

Heyward has a career-high .865 OPS on the season, and is hitting .451 in his past 15 games, with 11 hits. He finished the series 8 for 14 with four doubles, earning him a shoutout on Twitter from Magic Johnson.

“He’s had a tremendous season,” manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s an even better teammate. What he’s done for our guys, veteran guys, young guys, he’s a glue guy and right now, he’s on a tremendous heater. He’s swinging the bat so well, he’s controlling the strike zone, and when they make a mistake, or even a 3-2 split down below, he’s hitting it hard. He’s playing Gold Glove defense, and offensively he’s a threat, and he had a huge series.”

Rookie James Outman hit an eighth-inning homer to dead center field against Dominic Leone to give the Dodgers a five-run cushion. The homer, Outman’s 21st of the season, was just out of the reach of Mariners’ center fielder Julio Rodriguez, who leaped for the ball but couldn’t complete what would’ve been a highlight-reel catch.

While the Mariners highly-touted pitching staff struggled, Dodgers pitchers excelled. Ryan Yarbrough allowed one run on 5 hits over 4 ⅔, coming on in the second inning after right-hander Shelby Miller opened the game with a scoreless first.

Roberts went into the game planning on having a three pitcher day– with Miller working the first inning, Yarbrough taking over for the bulk innings, and then Gavin Stone finishing things off. The plan worked to near perfection, with all three pitchers doing their job well.

“It couldn’t have worked out any better,” Roberts said. “Just to give (Miller) an opportunity to open is something that we could do again, and then obviously, to go into (Yarbrough). He didn’t look great early, I think there were some mechanical things that we cleaned up and he and (pitching coach Mark Prior) worked through, and after that he was just really efficient.”

Yarbrough (8-6) set down eight consecutive Mariners from the fourth to the sixth, relying on his ultra-slow curveball to make the Mariners swing out of their heels. He finished the day with seven strikeouts, and was replaced by Gavin Stone after walking Mike Ford in the bottom of the sixth inning.

“It was great,” Yarbrough said. “Early on, just really trying to establish the cutter and it was just staying up a little bit and not able to get it over for a strike, so that was the biggest thing later on in the game. The breaking ball played a big role later on, with keeping them honest out over the plate with guys being aggressive. So, just utilizing that more and actually just getting the cutter and establishing the inside part of the plate.”

Stone gave up a single to the first batter he faced and walked a pair of Mariners hitters in the seventh, but got out of the inning without damage by striking out Teoscar Hernandez and coaxing a flyout from Dominic Canzone.

The Dodgers allowed just one Mariners hit after the fourth inning, which came on a Ty France sixth-inning single. Stone struck out the side in the ninth inning and set down the final eight Mariners batters in order to earn his first career save.

While the Dodgers easily could’ve taken their foot off the gas in the series finale after their Saturday night triumph, the team finished off the dominant three-game series the only way they know how.

“When you just have a bunch of competitors, you go out there and you play a game and want to win,” Barnes said. “You don’t ever want to go out there and get embarrassed. Obviously those games mean a lot to those guys over there, so we went out there and tried to compete and we did a great job on both sides of the field.”

The Dodgers now have 40 wins since the All-Star break, an MLB-best ahead of only the Baltimore Orioles.

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