Oct 3, 2012 1:56 AM by Andrew Masuda

Zito and Giants eliminate Dodgers from playoff contention

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles Dodgers were eliminated from playoff contention, their wild-card hopes dashed Tuesday night with a 4-3 loss to Barry Zito and the San Francisco Giants.

The defeat left the Dodgers two games behind St. Louis with only one game left in the regular season. Los Angeles had won six in a row to stay in the race for the second NL wild-card spot, but Mark Ellis lined out to center field with a runner on second base to end it.

The defending World Series champion Cardinals will open the playoffs Friday at Atlanta in a one-game matchup.

Zito, a former UCSB star, won his 15th game of the season, a career-high since signing with the Giants. San Francisco has won his last 12 starts.

Marco Scutaro continued his clutch play with a two-run double in the fifth inning that extended the Giants' lead to 4-1. Scutaro extended his hitting streak to 19 games. Buster Posey hit a solo home run in the second inning and raised his league-leading batting average to .337. Joaquin Arias also clubbed a home run for the Giants in the third inning.

A.J. Ellis slugged a two-run home run to center field against reliever Guillermo Mota in the seventh inning to cut the deficit to one. Mark Ellis doubled into the corner, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple. Shane Victorino followed with a triple that would have scored Ellis from second base with the tying run. Victorino was stranded at third after George Kontos struck out Matt Kemp.

San Francisco improved to 94-67, while the Dodgers dropped to 85-76.



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