Kershaw, Dodgers shut out White Sox for 10th straight victory
CHICAGO — Clayton Kershaw might not have been as sharp as usual coming off a rare nine-day gap between starts.
Then again, the Dodgers’ ace is awfully good, even when he’s not at his best.
Kershaw pitched seven innings for his major league-leading 15th victory and the Los Angeles Dodgers edged the Chicago White Sox 1-0 on Tuesday for their 10th straight victory.
Kershaw (15-2) made his first start since the All-Star break, allowing seven hits and a walk to post his 11th win in a row.
“I was little rusty tonight,” said Kershaw, who struck out seven and lowered his ERA to 2.07. “The fastball command wasn’t great the first few innings. It got a little better as we went along. Nine days off is definitely not something I’m used to. I’m thankful to get out of this unscathed and get the win.”
The Dodgers, with the best record in baseball at 65-29, have won 30 of 34 — the best 34-game stretch in the franchise’s rich history. This is the second 10-game winning streak of the season for the National League West leaders.
Relievers Pedro Baez and Kenley Jansen closed it out. Jansen survived a deep fly by Matt Davidson to record his 24th save in 24 chances.
Chris Taylor had four hits and scored on rookie Cody Bellinger’s single in the first inning off Miguel Gonzalez (4-9), who lasted six innings and induced three of the Dodgers’ four double plays.
Chicago’s best chance off Kershaw, who had not allowed more than six hits in a game since a no-decision on May 28, came in the sixth.
With runners on first and third and one out, Tyler Saladino bunted a safety squeeze attempt into the air for an easy play by catcher Yasmani Grandal, then Kershaw ended the rally by getting Yolmer Sanchez to ground out.
“If you look at the line tonight, domination, but it’s all relative with Clayton because he’s so special,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “When everything isn’t synced up, you think something’s wrong. But he is human and he’s not perfect, but he still finds a way to go out there and give us quality innings.”