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OC Register: Dodgers finish regular season by completing sweep of Angels


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LOS ANGELES – AJ Pollock hit a home run in the Dodgers’ first at-bat against the Angels on Sunday.

Patrick Sandoval, the Angels’ starting pitcher, limped off the field in the third inning with a strained calf muscle. Immediately after the game, general manager Billy Eppler was fired.

Yes, the 60th and final regular-season game for both teams reflected the first 59 quite well.

The Dodgers beat the Angels 5-0 at Dodger Stadium, capping a 43-17 season that set a new franchise record for winning percentage (.717). Pollock homered again in the seventh inning and finished 3 for 3 with three runs batted in.

The Angels (26-34) beat the Dodgers in all four of their head-to-head meetings a year ago. The Dodgers beat the Angels in all six meetings this year. Their next stop: a best-of-three National League wild card series against the Milwaukee Brewers (29-31) starting Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers clinched the number-1 seed earlier in the week and will have home field advantage throughout the postseason. As Manager Dave Roberts spoke to reporters after the game, the Giants were playing out the ninth inning against the Padres with the number-8 seed hanging in the balance.

Was he watching the scoreboard with interest?

“Not to be crass,” Roberts said, “but I just really don’t care.”

The sixth multi-homer game of Pollock’s career gave him 16 home runs this season, matching Mookie Betts for the team lead. The Dodgers finished the season with 118 home runs, the most in baseball.

In their most recent championship season, the Dodgers hit 99 home runs as a team over 162 games in 1988.

“When the season’s closed out and we start the playoffs, none of it means anything,” Pollock said. “Everything goes back to zero. Hopefully me personally, and the team, we can just keep this thing rolling.”

Sandoval (1-5) allowed three runs in 2 2/3 innings. The Angels collected just three hits – two by Jahmai Jones – en route to their third straight loss. Eppler was let go with one year left in his contract following a disappointing fourth-place finish in the American League West.

Dustin May (3-1) pitched four shutout innings in relief of opener Victor Gonzalez to earn the win for the Dodgers. Pedro Baez, Blake Treinen, Brusdar Graterol and Kenley Jansen each threw a scoreless inning in relief.

Roberts used the late innings to rest starters Justin Turner, Corey Seager and Max Muncy. That caused quite a stir on the field. Chris Taylor started at second base, then moved to left field and later shortstop. Kiké Hernandez started in right field and moved to first base. Relief pitcher Adam Kolarek played the final two innings in right field, and was not involved in any fielding plays.

The Dodgers were the only team that did not get shut out in a game all season. They finished the season with the most runs scored (349), the most home runs (118), the highest slugging percentage (.483) and the fourth-fewest strikeouts as a team in MLB.

“It’s been a fun season,” Roberts said. “The hitting coaches have done a fantastic job. The players buying in, it’s been great.”

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