LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers are nearly on a pace to set the record for most wins in a Major League Baseball regular season after recording their 15th victory in their past 17 games.
The National League West team ran its record to a remarkable 81-33 with an 8-6 victory Thursday night over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Dodgers’ current winning percentage of .711 means they are on a pace for a year-end record of 115-47, which would leave them one-game short of the big-league mark for games won set by the 1906 Chicago Cubs (116-36) and the 2001 Seattle Mariners (116-46).
Los Angeles took an early lead on Thursday night at Chase Field in Phoenix and increased it to 8-2 when third baseman Justin Turner brought home two runs with a double in the top of the sixth inning.
Arizona mounted a comeback but it was too little too late.
Turner has been one of the Dodgers’ brightest stars and currently leads the National League in hitting with a .348 batting average.
Another big recent contributor has been Japanese starting pitcher Yu Darvish, who on Thursday night won his second of two starts since being acquired by Los Angeles in a trade late last month.
The Dodgers won two of three over Arizona and now have won or tied 18 consecutive series. The last series they lost was in early June against the NL East-leading Washington Nationals.
The team does have one major concern, however: the health of ace starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who is reportedly close to returning to the squad after sustaining a back injury last month.
The loss of Kershaw would seriously jeopardize the Dodgers’ hopes of winning their first World Series title since 1988, which is a much bigger goal than having the best regular-season record.
After all, the 1906 Cubs team was stunned in the World Series by their crosstown rivals, the Chicago White Sox, and the 2011 Mariners also came up short in the postseason, losing four games to one to the New York Yankees in that year’s American League Championship Series.