The Los Angeles Dodgers returned home and sent their ace, Clayton Kershaw to the mound. The left-hander was facing the Arizona Diamondbacks for the first time since they scored seven runs on him in one inning. The Dodgers also saw the return of A.J. Ellis and Hanley Ramirez as the six-game homestand began.
Kershaw retired the first batter of the game, then allowed singles to Gerrardo Parra and Paul Goldschmidt. Kershaw got out of the inning without allowing any damage by striking out Aaron Hill and getting Martin Prado to foul out.
Rookie Chase Anderson retired the Dodgers in order and both teams remained scoreless after the first inning. Kershaw allowed a single in the second inning but worked around it and struck out the side. Anderson walked Arian Gonzalez in the bottom half of the inning and then surrendered a two-run home run to Matt Kemp.
The homer was Kemp’s first in 101 plate appearances. Anderson’s troubles continued as he hit Andre Ethier and walked A.J. Ellis to put two runners on with none out. Chone Figgins lined out and following a sac-bunt to advance the runners, Dee Gordon struck out to end the inning.
Chris Owings led off the third with a ground-rule double and scored on a Hill two-out RBI double before Kershaw could get out of the inning. Ethier and Kemp hit back-to-back singles with no outs in the fourth inning, but the Dodgers’ efforts to build on their lead were stymied after Ellis hit into a double play.
Kershaw continued his dominant pitching in the fifth as he picked up his seventh strikeout of the game; six of which were on batters who were caught looking. After Kershaw got the strikeout, Gordon took charge of the inning by making impressive plays on consecutive ground balls.
Ramirez walked with one out in the bottom of the fifth, but Yasiel Puig only managed to advance him to second with a sacrifice fly. Ramirez would be stranded at second base as Gonzalez lined out to end the inning.
The Diamondbacks put two runners on via singles with two outs, however David Peralta was unable to tie the game or give them the lead. The Dodgers loaded the bases with two outs on Diamondbacks reliever Oliver Perez, who got out of the jam by getting Gordon to hit into a fielder’s choice.
Ramirez hit a leadoff double in the seventh and came around to score on a Gonzalez single and the Dodgers led, 3-1. Brian Wilson relieved Kershaw in the eighth and allowed a trio of singles that cut the Dodgers’ lead to 3-2.
J.P. Howell took over for Wilson following the RBI single and got the Dodgers out of the inning with their one-run lead intact. Justin Turner pinch-hit in the bottom of the eighth and delivered with an RBI single to give the Dodgers a 4-2 lead.
Parra singled off Kenley Jansen with one out in the ninth inning and that was followed with a walk to Goldschmidt. Hill drove a run in with a single before Jansen could record the second and third outs to earn the save and give the Dodgers a win in the first of their six-game homestand.
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