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Epic Giants-Dodgers race comes down to final day of season

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Kapler and Roberts

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants left Oracle Park on Saturday evening expecting to play meaningful baseball on Sunday. The Los Angeles Dodgers guaranteed that they will.

A must-win game for the Dodgers turned into a blowout, with Justin Turner hitting an early three-run homer off Cy Young candidate Corbin Burnes, and A.J. Pollock and Corey Seager tacking on in the middle innings. The Dodgers beat the Brewers 8-3, getting to within a game of the Giants with one to go.

The Giants knew it wouldn't be easy down the stretch, and they figured they would have to essentially win out to clinch their first NL West title since 2012, but there is a huge silver lining. They control their own destiny. With a win over the Padres on Sunday at Oracle Park, the Giants will finish with a franchise record 107 wins and take the NL West. 

"We've kind of been in the driver's seat the whole year and really focused on us and what we can control," third baseman Evan Longoria said after Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Padres. "The only thing we can control is tomorrow's game. If we win, we're in. We'll worry about celebrating whenever that happens."

The Giants have a big advantage on paper Sunday. Logan Webb, their ace throughout the second half, will go up against 24-year-old Padres right-hander Reiss Knehr, who has allowed 14 runs in 26 innings this season. Webb has a 2.22 ERA over his last 19 starts. The Giants are 17-2 in those games.

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After Saturday's game, manager Gabe Kapler said he had "100 percent" trust in Webb to deliver Sunday. 

"The same amount of confidence that we had in (Kevin) Gausman going into today's game, we're going to have the same amount of confidence in Webb going into tomorrow's game," Kapler said.

"He's had such an incredible year, and specifically, the last three or four months have been excellent, with a few hiccups along the way. I feel really good about Webby taking the ball and leading the way."

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