Losers in five of their last seven games, the Los Angeles Dodgers handed the ball to Clayton Kershaw Thursday night, who has righted the ship for the team countless times this season.
Kershaw got off to strong start by facing the minimum number of batters through the first two innings. Matt Kemp drew a leadoff walk in the second, but was erased on a Carl Crawford grounder to second.
Crawford was then caught stealing and after allowing a single to Justin Turner, San Diego Padres starter Tyson Ross retired A.J. Ellis to end the inning. Kershaw collected two strikeouts in the third inning as he once again sat the Padres down in order.
Dee Gordon hit a two-out single in the bottom of the third and was thrown out trying to steal, which took the bat out of Yasiel Puig’s hands. Kershaw kept the Padres off the bases in the fourth and fifth innings, only to be matched by Ross as the game remained scoreless.
After retiring the first two batters in the sixth, Ross ended Kershaw’s no-hit bid with a single to center. The Dodger ace then struck out Yangervis Solarte to end the inning. Abraham Almonte hit a leadoff single in the seventh, which was followed by Kershaw walking Jedd Gyorko to put two on with none out and give the Padres their first threat of the game.
Tommy Medica’s sacrifice fly allowed Almonte to tag and take third, and runners were on the corners with one out. Gyorko took second on a ball that skipped away from Ellis and the Padres took a 1-0 lead on the following pitch behind Rene Rivera’s single to left.
Kershaw prevented any further damage, though Ross blanked the Dodgers in the home half of the inning and extended his streak to 12 consecutive batters retired. Kershaw struck out his ninth and 10th batters of the game as part of a scoreless eighth to keep the Dodgers within one run.
Crawford led off the eighth with an infield single that skipped off Ross’ glove as he took a stab at it. Justin Turner brought an end a frustrating night for the offense by hitting a two-run home run that gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.
Kenley Jansen issued a one-out walk in the ninth before closing the door on the Padres, who left the tying run on second base. With the come-from-behind victory, the Dodgers earned their first win this season when trailing after seven innings (they are now 1-46).
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