Padres CEO: “Bud Black can manage this club as long as he wants to”

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There’s been some speculation linking Bud Black to various managerial and front office openings, but Padres chief executive officer Jeff Moorad attempted to shut down those rumors yesterday by saying that “Bud Black can manage this club as long as he wants to, he’s a perfect skipper for the Padres in the near term as well as the long term.”

Black has a .478 winning percentage and just two winning since seasons since leaving his job as Angels pitching coach to become the Padres’ manager in 2007, but San Diego’s talent and payroll limitations obviously play a big role in that sub-.500 mark and he’s the reigning NL Manager of the Year.

Black declined to comment when asked about his interest in other jobs and according to Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union Tribune no teams have requested the Padres’ permission to speak to him yet. General manager Jed Hoyer also declined to comment on what he called “media speculation.”

Sullivan reports that the Padres would likely block Black from speaking to other teams about a lateral move to manager, but would allow him to discuss “a potential promotion” to GM. And with two years remaining on his Padres contract and another two team options after that, Black probably isn’t going anywhere.

Dodgers top Giants, clinch fifth straight NL West title

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The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.

Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.

The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.

After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.

Watch: Cody Bellinger breaks NL rookie home run record

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Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:

The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.

The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.