Padres prospect Donavan Tate a no-show

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Outfielder Donavan Tate, the Padres’ 2009 first-round pick taken third overall, did not show up at Minor League camp. Via the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Tate, the outfielder signed by the Padres for $6.5 million as the No. 3 overall pick of 2009, informed the club that he will not be reporting on time with the rest of the minor league position players on Friday. Tate’s reason for not showing in Peoria was described by the club as “personal.”

Tate hit just .226 overall between Single-A Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore, stealing 21 bases but with a disappointing 60 percent success rate. His career has been besieged by injuries and suspensions — most memorably, he was suspended in June 2011 for his second positive test for a drug of abuse (i.e. not performance-enhancers).

22 years old without even a taste of Double-A, and now a no-show at Padres camp, Tate’s career takes an even more disappointing turn. Padres VP Randy Smith suggested that Tate needs to work on being a better person before he can become a better ballplayer.

The two players taken ahead of Tate in the 2009 draft, Stephen Strasburg and Dustin Ackley, have enjoyed at least a modicum of success at the Major League level.

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.