The Dodgers, who have already secured home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs, have a magic number of one over the Indians to clinch the best record in baseball. They also kept alive their hope of winning out and tying the franchise record of 105 wins, set by the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers.
"I didn't really have an expectation on wins," manager Dave Roberts said about winning 102 games. "I don't think anyone in the clubhouse did. We expected to win the division, which we did. We've played very good baseball for a good bit of the season. If you look back at the great Dodgers teams and teams in baseball history, we're in an elite group."
Hill struck out 10 through seven dominant innings, holding the Padres to two hits in his last tuneup before his expected start in Game 3 of the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile. The lefty also chipped in on the offensive side with an RBI single.
The Dodgers tagged Padres starter Clayton Richard for eight runs (six earned) on eight hits, with Logan Forsythe, Austin Barnes and Puig combining to drive in four runs in the third as the Dodgers took a 7-0 advantage and didn't look back.
"Everybody looked great," Hill said. "We hit the ball really well. Austin [Barnes] did a great job behind the dish tonight and kept good rhythm, and all my pitches were working. Good way to end the season and look forward to the playoffs."
The Dodgers won the season series against their SoCal rivals, 13-6, including a three-game sweep this week in which they outscored the Padres, 28-5.
"We didn't show up to play this series," Padres manager Andy Green said. "That's on nobody but me."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Sloppy start: The tone for a porous defensive effort from the Padres was set from the start. Chris Taylor started the game by bouncing a chopper to short, and Yangervis Solarte threw errantly to first. (Taylor would come up limping and later exit with a left knee contusion.) It was an inauspicious beginning, especially for Richard, a sinkerballer who relies heavily on his infield defense. He would follow by walking Seager, and both runners would score on productive outs later in the frame.
"It was sloppy baseball from the first play," said Green. "It's a frustrating series altogether, because our team's fought so hard to create some sort of identity that we grind out games, that we fight and compete. Even if a game goes bad, we bounce back the next day. We kind of gave that identity away this series."
Barnes capitalizes: Errors continued to haunt the Padres in the third inning, as Dodgers put the game out of reach with a four-run frame. Forsythe pulled a base hit to left, and Jabari Blash's fielding error allowed a run to score and Hernandez to reach third. One batter later, Barnes broke the game open with a two-run double, and he would score scored on Puig's ensuing single.
"I think that we've re-calibrated and we're playing the way we need to play going into the postseason." -- Roberts, on playing well going into the postseason
QUEST FOR 200?
Before the game, Green acknowledged the possibility that Richard might pitch in relief in Sunday's season finale, were he to finish an inning shy of 200. But Richard managed only five innings -- in which he allowed eight runs -- on Wednesday, leaving him 2 2/3 frames short of the mark. After the game, Green said it's doubtful Richard would see any more game action this season.
WHAT'S NEXT Padres: After a team off-day Thursday, Jordan Lyles makes his final start before he enters free agency on Friday night, as the Padres open a season-ending three-game set in San Francisco at 7:15 p.m. PT. Lyles has struggled (7.91 ERA, 1.76 WHIP) in his four starts since joining San Diego on Sept. 1.
Dodgers: Los Angeles will have Thursday off before heading to Colorado for its final series of the season. Lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu, whose postseason role has yet to be determined, faces the Rockies in Friday's opener, with first pitch set for 5:10 p.m. PT.