Kershaw leads Dodgers over D-Backs
LOS ANGELES (AP) Clayton Kershaw knew he was not the main attraction in Los Angeles on Friday night. Still, he gave a first-rate performance.
Kershaw allowed just one run over seven sharp innings, Matt Kemp homered for the first time in more than a month, and the Dodgers withstood two late rallies to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3 in a matchup of National League West rivals on Friday night.
”It’s a hockey town during the playoffs, we get that,” said Kershaw after the crowd spent most of the game cheering during updates on the Kings Stanley Cup finals game. ”We figured that’s what all the cheering was. Congrats to them that’s awesome.”
Kershaw (6-2) delivered an applause-worthy performance himself. He gave up eight hits, walked one and struck out seven to earn the win in his 100th career home start.
It was a redemptive outing for the reigning NL Cy Young winner after Arizona ripped him for seven runs in just 1 2-3 innings the last time they met. He’s won his last three starts since that outing.
”You hope to not have any of those clunkers in a season but it happens obviously,” he said. ”I don’t know if I’m on a roll or whatever but it’s been going well.”
His strong outing would have been for naught without some escape artistry from by his bullpen.
The Diamondbacks rallied as soon as Kershaw left the game. Three of their first four batters in the eighth singled against reliever Brian Wilson, including a one-out RBI single by Tuffy Gosewich that brought them within one.
But J.P Howell entered and struck out David Peralta and got Miguel Montero to fly out to end the threat.
Justin Turner extended the Dodgers lead back out to two in the bottom of the inning with a pinch-hit RBI single to right to score A.J. Ellis from second. The knock extended Turner’s modest hitting streak to six games and would prove valuable when the Diamondbacks once again staged a rally in the ninth against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen.
Gerardo Parra got the comeback attempt started with a one-out single, Paul Goldschmidt walked and Aaron Hill followed with a single through the left side to score Parra and cut the deficit to 4-3.
Jansen buckled down and escaped further damage though, striking out Martin Prado and inducing Cody Ross to fly out to right to end the game and record his 18th save.
”We got a couple hits and had some good AB’s, we just couldn’t get anything going with runners in scoring position,” Arizona shortstop Chris Owings said. ”We were in it the whole game. We just needed that big hit and couldn’t get it tonight.”
Kemp got the scoring started when he crushed a 2-1 changeup deep into the left-center field bleachers in the second to put the Dodgers up 2-0. The blast, measured at 402 feet, was Kemp’s first home run since May 10.
”That was big for us,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. ”We’ve struggled to score early and been getting behind a lot early here at home. It was good for us to get out to a lead.”
Aaron Hill cut the deficit in half in the top of the third, smacking a grounder down the third base line just under the glove of a diving Chone Figgins for an RBI double.
After that Kershaw went into lockdown mode. He allowed only four baserunners the rest of the game, none of which passed second base.
”I think he’s been pretty good except (for one start this year), Mattingly said. ”He’s the same old Clayton, right where we want him to be.”
The Dodgers’ win spoiled Diamondbacks rookie Chase Anderson’s bid to make history.
Anderson (5-1) was trying to become just the second National League pitcher since 1914 to win his first six career starts. Instead, he got his first career loss after allowing five hits and two runs in five innings, with four walks and four strikeouts.
NOTES: The Dodgers reinstated Ellis from the disabled list before the game and optioned catcher Tim Federowicz to Triple-A Albuquerque. … The Diamondbacks recalled outfielder Tony Campana from Triple-A Reno and placed outfielder Ender Inciarte on the 7-day concussion disabled list. … A video tribute commemorating the career of former Dodgers pitcher Bob Welch was shown before the game. Welch, who pitched for Los Angeles from 1978-1987, passed away Tuesday at the age of 57.