Kershaw pitched seven scoreless innings while striking out six and allowing just four hits over that span. It was a bounce-back outing for the Cy Young winner after losing his previous start.
In addition to Kershaw’s mound presence, the Dodgers were led by Andre Ethier‘s eighth home run of the season and some stellar defensive plays.
Ethier’s solo blast came in the sixth inning off Kennedy and gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. With Matt Kemp now on the DL with his hamstring issues, Ethier’s power in the middle of the lineup will be much-needed. However, without Kemp in the lineup, opposing pitchers may not find a reason to give Ethier anything to hit.
The standout defensive plays began with Tony Gwynn‘s hosing of A.J. Pollock in the top of the third. Sprinting to his left, Gwynn fielded Willie Bloomquist‘s single and then fired home to nab Pollock at the plate to preserve the Dodgers’ 1-0 lead.
Then, with Kenley Jansen on the mound in the ninth inning, James Loney and Justin Sellers made spectacular plays on back-to-back at-bats. Loney leaned over the first base railing to grab Paul Goldschmidt‘s foul pop-up and then Sellers broke into a full sprint to corral Miguel Montero‘s foul pop-up before flying into the first row of the Field Level near third base.
One Up: Clayton Kershaw, SP: W, 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 6 K
Despite the win and the scoreless innings, Kershaw didn’t look dominant. It’s crazy to say, but it’s the truth. However, it was refreshing to see some raw emotion from the young southpaw, brushing back Ian Kennedy after Kennedy threw behind him earlier in the game. It seems to be a spill-over from last season’s Gerardo Parra/Hong-Chih Kuo debacle, but nevertheless the division rivalry continues.
One Down: None.
W: Clayton Kershaw (3-1)
L: Ian Kennedy (3-3)
S: Kenley Jansen (4)