Dodgers clinch playoff berth, beat Pirates

September 27, 2009

The celebration was a couple of bottles of champagne and a few hugs, nothing more. Maybe it's because the Los Angeles Dodgers expect to have bigger bashes before the season is over.

The Dodgers locked up their fourth NL playoff appearance in six years, getting a two-run single from pinch-hitter Jim Thome during a four-run eighth inning in which Pirates relievers walked four before going on to beat Pittsburgh 8-4 on Saturday night.

Manager Joe Torre is headed to the postseason for a record-tying 14th straight time - only the Braves' Bobby Cox also has accomplished the feat - after the Dodgers assured themselves of at least a wild-card spot.

"I don't know who I caught, but it's satisfying ... to be able to go to the postseason the first two years here," said Torre, the former Yankees manager. "I'm the luckiest guy in the world because I don't know if anybody could dream of doing stuff like this, much less doing it."