Giants win NL West |
Janie McCauley
AP Baseball Writer

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Giants win NL West

AP Photo/Ben MargotFans cheer San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval, center left, as he climbs over the fence in third base foul territory after making a catch on a ball hit by San Diego Padres' Yonder Alonso in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Sept 22, 2012, in San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO – Madison Bumgarner pitched San Francisco to its second NL West title in three years and newcomer Marco Scutaro had three hits and three RBIs in the Giants’ 8-4 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.

The Giants captured their eighth divisional crown – wrapping it up once again with a victory over the Padres in front of their home fans, just as they did on the season’s final day in 2010 on the way to an improbable World Series championship.

Brandon Belt homered leading off the eighth to give the sellout crowd of 42,418 one more thing to stand and cheer about in a season full of such moments.

The real party began after Sergio Romo retired John Baker on a fly ball to center to end it. Fireworks shot off behind the main center-field scoreboard as the players rushed to the mound and began bouncing up and down.

The Giants pulled on gray NL West champion T-shirts and white caps, then took a victory lap around the ballpark slapping high-fives with the fans – even jumping to reach those supporters hanging over the outfield fences. As music blared and fans roared, Romo held his gray shirt high and waved it for everyone to see.

Buster Posey and Hunter Pence each hit a sacrifice fly in the first and Bumgarner tacked on an RBI single in the second. Pence singled twice as the Giants won their season-high sixth straight game and moved 26 games above .500 (89-63), the club’s best record since finishing the 2003 season 39 games over.