NLCS-bound Padres find their identity, eliminate Dodgers

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NLCS-bound Padres find their identity, eliminate Dodgers

Fans pulled over hoodies, put on ponchos and covered their heads with whatever they could to try to stay dry, including yellow rally towels and pizza boxes.

They’d suffered through too many seasons of watching mostly dreadful baseball and weren’t going to miss the chance to chant “Beat LA!” with gusto and boo Cody Bellinger one final time as the Padres stood on the cusp of eliminating their reviled rivals, the 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers.

After the Padres took the lead with a stunning five-run rally in the seventh that literally made the ballpark shake, reliever Robert Suarez methodically retired Trayce Thompson, Bellinger and Gavin Lux. The 31-year-old rookie, who was lights-out in the division series, showed no emotion until blowing strike three past Lux and then pounding his right fist into his glove several times as he headed to the dugout and the crowd roared.

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