The Dodgers’ third loss in four games since they clinched the NL West on Sunday afternoon all but packs their bags for Washington next week. The Dodgers need to win their final two regular-season games this weekend while the Nationals lose twice in order to wrest home-field advantage from the Nats for their NL Division Series.“I did say that (the Dodgers wanted to catch the Nationals),” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “But I also said the main thing we wanted to do was to play good baseball. I thought the first five innings tonight we were sharp.“Tomorrow, we have (Clayton) Kershaw going. The back end of our bullpen is rested. We’re going to try to win a ballgame.”Roberts said Saturday would be “a regular start for Kersh” and not a shortened prep start for the playoffs.The Giants, meanwhile, held their position in the three-way race for the two NL wild-card spots. The New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals also won. The Mets are one game up on the Giants, who are one game up on the Cardinals for the second spot. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Dodgers have clearly focused more on playoff preparation and evaluating their roster options this week than chasing the home-field edge. But they did take a 3-2 lead against Giants ace Madison Bumgarner through the top of the sixth.Four consecutive hits in the first inning – including an RBI double by Bumgarner’s T-shirt supplier, Yasiel Puig – produced two runs. The Giants matched that against Hill in the bottom of the inning but three consecutive two-out singles by Carlos Ruiz, Rob Segedin and Kike’ Hernandez gave the Dodgers their brief 3-2 lead.McCarthy walked the first batter he faced in the bottom of the sixth then gave up three singles and two doubles (including one by Bumgarner that drove in two runs) before Roberts ended the experiment. Reliever Josh Ravin promptly gave up a three-run home run to Brandon Belt.“Obviously, it was a different role for Brandon,” Roberts said. “He went out there and did what he could. … The last outing was good (he started Sunday’s clinching victory). This time just didn’t go that well.”McCarthy acknowledged that everything felt different about warming up in mid-game and entering in the sixth inning. But he offered no other explanation for why things went so badly.“No idea,” he said. “They just hit everything I threw. I’m angry but other than that it was so quick and so violent I don’t know what other emotion to have.” SAN FRANCISCO >> When an animal-rights activist ran on the field and offered Angel Pagan a flower, the Giants left fielder body-slammed him to the ground.That was not the rudest treatment given to a visitor at AT&T Park on Friday night.The Dodgers wanted to see if career starter Brandon McCarthy might possibly be an option to pitch out of the bullpen during the postseason. Now, they know.McCarthy followed starter Rich Hill to the mound in the sixth inning with the Dodgers having just taken a one-run lead. It was McCarthy’s first relief appearance since April 25, 2007 with the Texas Rangers. He faced six batters, didn’t retire any of them and the Giants scored seven times in the inning on their way to a 9-3 victory over the Dodgers.