LOS ANGELES -- The road to the 2017 National League pennant will go through Los Angeles.
Yasmani Grandal, Adrian Gonzalez and Corey Seager each went deep as the Dodgers secured home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs with a 9-2 victory over the Padres on Tuesday night. The NL West champs also inched closer to securing the best record in the Majors, moving 2 1/2 games up on Cleveland with four to play.
"It's very significant," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "It's a byproduct of us winning a lot of games, we've turned things around. At home, in front of home fans, in a particular series, it's an advantage for us. To know that going throughout the playoffs, our next goal is to do that throughout the World Series."
San Diego jumped ahead in the fifth inning with home runs from rookies Christian Villanueva and Hunter Renfroe against Dodgers starter Alex Wood. Renfroe's blast was his 25th of the season, breaking Nate Colbert's club record for a rookie, which had stood for 48 years.
But Grandal answered in the bottom half of the frame, smacking a three-run homer just inside the right-field foul pole to put Los Angeles on top, 4-2. Gonzalez and Seager would put the game out of reach two innings later with homers of their own.
The Dodgers, now 101-57, need one win to tie the 1962 and '74 clubs for the most in a season since the franchise moved to Los Angeles. Their 56 home victories are a Los Angeles-era record, and the Dodgers will finish with the NL's best record for the first time since 2009.
Padres starter Dinelson Lamet wrapped up his rookie season with five innings of four-run ball. He struck out seven, but was done in by six walks -- a microcosm of his first few months in the big leagues. Lamet was dominant at times, but too often struggled with his command and posted a 4.57 ERA in 21 starts.
"There's a lot to like," said Padres manager Andy Green. "All in all, it's a really good first showing in the big leagues. But he goes into the offseason with some clear things to work on in order to make himself a real viable top-of-the-rotation starter for us."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bellinger takes center stage: Making his fourth appearance in center field this season, Cody Bellinger proved he can do it all. Renfroe's seventh-inning single looked destined to plate Wil Myers from second base. But Bellinger came up throwing and uncorked a 98.9 mph rocket to home plate, just ahead of Myers' slide. The throw was the fastest by a Dodgers outfielder this season and preserved a 5-2 Dodgers lead.
"He's a special player," Roberts said about Bellinger. "We saw the arm strength, the accuracy. Regardless of where you put him on the field, it seems like the arm plays up, the ability plays up."
Homer happy: Villanueva went deep 20 times for Triple-A El Paso before his callup last week. His fourth big league homer was not without some controversy. Villanueva broke into a home run trot as he rounded first base, but the ball deflected off the fingertips of a fan in the front row down the right-field line, onto the top of the wall and back into the field of play, where Yasiel Puig quickly gathered it and appeared to throw out Villanueva at second. A crew-chief review led to Villanueva being awarded a home run due to fan interference.
"He can hit," said Green. "He's always hit. There's a long list of scouts that have always believed in him."
"Really big, obviously huge. Our record at home is really good. Next step is to finish out and get home-field advantage throughout the entire postseason." -- Seager, on clinching the NL's top seed
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Villanueva is just the third Padres player to record four homers in his first nine career games. Strangely enough, the other two -- Renfroe and Grandal -- also homered on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
WHAT'S NEXT Padres: Clayton Richard, who signed a two-year contract extension last week, is 7 2/3 innings shy of his first 200-inning season since 2012. He will make his final start Wednesday at Dodger Stadium, with first pitch slated for 7:10 p.m. PT.
Dodgers: The Dodgers play their last home game of the season Wednesday and will have Rich Hill on the mound against the Padres. HIll is 2-3 with a 4.21 ERA in his last five starts.