Brandon Phillips gives a ball to a heckling fan signed “Dear Drunk Guy . . .”

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Brandon Phillips doesn’t take actual fact-based criticism very well sometimes, but he’s a pretty good sport about drunk hecklers.

Wednesday night, the Reds-Pirates game was a soggy affair, which pretty much emptied out PNC Park. One of the people who stayed was a Pirates fan, who decided to heckle Reds players pretty continuously. Since the park was empty, the players heard him loud and clear. One of them was Brandon Phillips who smiled at the jeering and then, after the game, did something fun. From the Pirates’ fan brother over at Reddit:

. . . after the game, Brandon Phillips runs over and hands my brother this ball. He said Mr. Phillips was completely cool about the whole thing. We’re Pirates fans, but I’ll be rooting for the Reds as long as is doesn’t mess with Pittsburgh’s chances at a pennant.

This is what he wrote on the ball-

Dear Drunk Guy, Thank You 4 All The Love & Support!! Now Take This Ball And Shut The Phuck Up!! 🙂

From Yours Truly,

Brandon Phillips

A pic of the ball can be seen here and here. Here’s a pic of Phillips with the fan.

Just another fun night at the ballpark.

(Thank to Allison for the heads up)

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.