After allowing a two-out single to Ethier in the fourth, McCullers got Puig to ground into a force out. The bottom of the fourth was much of the same for Kershaw, as he again kept the Astros off the bases.
Ellis doubled with one out in the fifth and scored with two outs on a pair of wild pitches by McCullers. Chris Carter hit a double that just caught the foul line on the left field wall with two outs, but he was stranded as Jake Marisnick hit back to the box.
Altuve improved to 3-for-3 on the day and a combined 5-for-6 in the series against Zack Greinke and Kershaw with a one-out double in the bottom of the sixth. Carlos Gomez was jammed but muscled a flare single into left field to put runners on the corners with no outs.
Carlos Correa was also jammed, hitting a chopper off Kershaw’s foot for an RBI infield single that cut the Dodgers’ lead to 2-1. Then with two outs and runners on first and third, Gomez was thrown out on his attempt to steal home plate.
As part of his head-first slide, Gomez’s foot caught Ellis on the head and the catcher remained down for a moment. The bang-bang play went to review with the out call being upheld. Ethier and Puig combined for back-to-back singles in the seventh, with the former improving to 3-for-3 on the day and the latter 2-for-3 up to that point.
However, the Dodgers continued to spin their wheels. McCullers struck out both Crawford and Ellis, with Ellis’ coming as part of a strike ’em out, throw ’em out as Ethier was caught stealing third. Evan Gattis, who was at the plate when Gomez was thrown out attempting to steal home, led off the bottom of the seventh with a double to left field.
Despite going to 3-0 counts against Gonzalez and Carter, Kershaw struck out both hitters and worked his way out of trouble by also striking out Marisnick on his 100th pitch of the game. After the Dodgers were retired in order by Astros reliever Chad Qualls, Kershaw was back on the mound for an eighth inning of work.
The reigning National League MVP set the Astros down in order, which included getting Altuve swinging for his 10th strikeout of the game. The 10-strikeout, no-walk performance was the fifth such outing from Kershaw this season, which is the most ever by a Dodger pitcher in one season since Sandy Koufax had four in 1965.
Adrian Gonzalez hit a one-out single in the ninth, which was followed by pinch-hitter Scott Van Slyke drawing a walk. Vincent Velasquez struck out Puig looking and the Dodger right fielder was ejected by home plate umpire James Hoye after standing with a hand on his hip followed by dropping his bat.
The Dodgers failed to add to their lead as Crawford then flied out to deep center. Kenley Jansen entered for his first action since Aug. 16 and gave up a leadoff single to Correa. The promising shortstop stole second base with one out and scored on Marwin Gonzalez’s two-out RBI single to tie the game at 2-2.
The Dodgers squandered an opportunity to regain the lead in the 10th as Ellis only reached third base after hitting a leadoff single. Jason Castro completed the Astros’ sweep of the Dodgers as he hit a fly ball that kept carrying until it cleared the fence in left field against Chris Hatcher for a walk-off home run and 3-2 win.