LOS ANGELES -- In the year of the wistful farewell, magic happened.
Charlie Culberson hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Los Angeles Dodgers the National League West championship with a 4-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday in front of 51,962 at Dodger Stadium.
The game not only marked the end of the Dodgers' regular-season home schedule. It also culminated a weekend of festivities honoring Vin Scully, the Hall-of-Fame broadcaster who called his final game at Dodger Stadium. Scully said he would not broadcast any of the team's postseason games.
Reliever Joe Blanton (7-2) earned the victory that gave the Dodgers their fourth successive division title.
"They're rolling on all cylinders," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss, whose team built a 2-0 lead in the third inning. "Once you don't put them away early, or if you have an opportunity and don't capitalize, it's pretty tough to beat them."
With two out in the bottom of the 10th, Culberson hit a 91-mph fastball from Boone Logan (2-5) into the stands down the left-field line for his first home run of the season and the sixth of his career.
"It was tough to see," said Culberson, who was batting in shadow while Logan pitched in sunlight. "I was trying to see the ball and I was just trying to relax and get a good pitch to hit."
Culberson, 27, had played a scattered 148 major-league games in parts of three seasons when he came to the Dodgers' spring-training camp as a non-roster player. Last year, Culberson played only five games for Triple-A Albuquerque because of an inflamed lumbar disc.
This year, the Dodgers had designated Culberson for assignment July 23 before optioning him to Triple-A Oklahoma City, then recalled him Aug. 23 for his third stint in Los Angeles.
"I feel like I belong," Culberson said while being doused with champagne and beer in the Dodgers' celebratory clubhouse. "I feel like family here. These guys are unreal, the coaches, the fans. But I'm not done yet. We've got to keep playing baseball and keep having fun."
The Rockies took a 3-2 lead with two out in the top of the ninth inning, when David Dahl sent a 97-mph fastball from closer Kenley Jansen over the right-field fence for a solo drive representing his seventh home run this season.
"He had a great at-bat against one of the best in the game," Weiss said. "It looked like a high fastball and David got the barrel to it. It's not easy to do against Jansen."
But the Dodgers retaliated with two out in the bottom of the ninth on Corey Seager's 26th homer. Seager propelled Adam Ottavino's 90-mph fastball on a 2-0 count deep into the first level of the stands down the right-field line.
"He's the real deal," Weiss said about Seager. "We get to see him all too often. He's one of the better young players I've seen in a long time."
Before the game, fans chanted one of Scully's signature phrases, "It's time for Dodger baseball," in unison with a recording of his voice and gave him a standing ovation. Scully responded by waving and putting his right hand over his heart while a banner draped over the edge of his booth proclaimed, "I'll miss you! - Vin."
During the game, each of the first eight Dodger batters tipped his helmet in Scully's direction before stepping into the batter's box. Groundskeepers had stenciled "Vin," with a microphone representing the "i," in foul territory near the baselines and on the back of the pitcher's mound. Fans chanted "Vin, Vin" during a pitching change in the sixth inning and after singing along with his recording of "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch.
Once the game ended, with the Dodgers standing on the field while wearing caps and T-shirts commemorating their championship, Scully addressed the fans.
"Believe me, I've needed you far more than you needed me," Scully said. "You have kept me young at heart. You're the wind beneath the team's wings and you're the team beneath my wings."
Then a recording of Scully singing "Wind Beneath My Wings" played over the public-address system as Scully put his arm around his wife, Sandra, and some fans cried.
Colorado took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third against right-hander Brandon McCarthy. Cristhian Adames lined a single into left field, then came home when Dustin Garneau hit a double past diving third baseman Justin Turner and down the left-field line. Garneau moved to third base on Tyler Anderson's sacrifice bunt and scored on Charlie Blackmon's sacrifice fly. Left fielder Howie Kendrick made a diving backhanded catch on his knees on Blackmon's sinking fly ball.
Los Angeles narrowed the deficit to 2-1 in the bottom of the third against Anderson. Kendrick singled to left, took third base on Turner's double into the left-field corner and scored on Yasiel Puig's sacrifice fly.
The Dodgers tied the score in the seventh when Seager's triple down the right-field line brought home Turner, who singled with one out. But left-hander Chris Rusin relieved Anderson, struck out Puig and made Adrian Gonzalez ground out to keep Seager at third base.
Anderson allowed 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings but held Los Angeles to two runs while issuing two walks, recording one strikeout and inducing 11 groundouts.
McCarthy was activated from the disabled list and made his first start for Los Angeles since Aug. 13. The 10-year veteran conceded two runs, four hits and a walk while collecting six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. A stiff right hip put McCarthy on the disabled list last month.
NOTES: Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will call three more games this season, the Dodgers' final series in San Francisco, before retiring. Scully said previously he will not call any of the Dodgers' postseason games. ... Colorado 2B D.J. LeMahieu seeks to become the third member of the team to win a batting championship in the past four seasons, following OF Michael Cuddyer in 2013 and 1B Justin Morneau in 2014. ... Former Rockies OF Dante Bichette's two sons, Dante Jr. and Bo, played for Brazil in qualifying for the World Baseball Classic. Brazil was eliminated Saturday. ... The Rockies' loss Saturdaynight ensured the club's sixth consecutive losing season. ... Los Angeles activated RHP Brandon McCarthy from the disabled list to pitch Sunday. ... The Dodgers' bullpen leads the major leagues with a 3.22 earned-run average.