Kershaw dominant as Dodgers down Diamondbacks 4-3
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Dodgers manager Dave Roberts breathed a sigh of relief when Clayton Kershaw gave up his first hit in the seventh inning.
Not that Roberts didn’t want to see his ace throw a second career no-hitter. It was just that Kershaw’s pitch count was climbing.
“Reality is setting in, what’s best for Kersh,” Roberts said. “Him getting to 130 pitches doesn’t make sense for anyone.”
Kershaw struck out 11 on 117 pitches to become the first 13-game winner in the majors this season, helping the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3 in a matchup of the National League’s top two teams Tuesday.
“This is the team right behind us, so for us to get the first win is big,” Kershaw said.
Kershaw (13-2) ended up allowing two hits in seven shutout innings. He lost his no-hit bid on an infield single by Chris Owings with one out in the seventh.
“He had some of his best stuff I have seen so far,” Owings said. “Got lucky and was able to beat one out. I just put it in play and hoped for the best.”
Owings fisted a soft grounder to second baseman Logan Forsythe, but rookie first baseman Cody Bellinger broke for the ball when it was hit. Kershaw was too late getting over to cover the bag, and Owings beat the play at first as Kershaw had to reach back for Forsythe’s throw.
“It was kind of in no-man’s land,” Roberts said. “It was one of those tough plays.”
The sellout crowd of 53,159 gave Kershaw a standing ovation after the play. He then struck out Brandon Drury, gave up a single to Chris Iannetta and got Daniel Descalso on a grounder to end the inning.
“The biggest key there is just not to exhale,” Kershaw said. “You’ve got to really focus back in.”
Kershaw issued two walks — both to Iannetta.
“Great win against a good team,” said Justin Turner, who homered and drove in two of the Dodgers’ runs. “Kersh was unbelievable. He had all his stuff going.”
All-Star closer Kenley Jansen entered with two on in the ninth and gave up a three-run homer to Descalso, leaving Arizona down 4-3. Jansen finished for his 18th save in as many chances.
Arizona lefty Patrick Corbin (6-8) gave up three runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out eight and walked two as the Diamondbacks dropped 3 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the National League West.