In determined want of size from a starter to keep away from a repeat of the earlier two video games in opposition to the Reds, the Dodgers obtained precisely that from Clayton Kershaw. Permitting only one runner to achieve third, Kershaw took benefit of the Dodgers early result in keep away from a sweep in Cincinnati on Thursday afternoon.
With the D-backs sport delayed in Washington D.C., the Dodgers (36-27) snapped their four-game shedding streak and are 1.5 video games again of first-place within the NL West and a couple of.0 video games again of the Braves within the Nationwide League.
In contrast to Tuesday and Wednesday, the Dodgers offense failed to supply a lot of something within the 1st inning. In reality, it took all the best way till third inning to place a run on the board in opposition to Graham Ashcraft and his 6.64 ERA.
In the meantime, Kershaw walked Kevin Newman, struck out Matt McLain on an 0-2 slider and ended the first with a double play off the bat of Jonathan India. An infield single put Elly De La Cruz on to open the 2nd, however 10 pitches retired the following three Reds to keep away from any hassle even after one more steal.
With either side scoreless after two innings, the Dodgers struck first as Ashcraft struggled together with his management within the third.
Hitting James Outman on the again foot with a slider on the primary pitch of the inning, Ashcraft then took a comebacker off his leg by Austin Barnes and hit Mookie Betts after falling behind 2-0. With runners at first and second with only one out, Freddie Freeman singled to left to carry residence Outman and hold the scenario the identical for J.D. Martinez.
Whereas Martinez lined out, Max Muncy laid off a pair of excessive and outdoors cutters to show a 1-2 rely right into a full rely and walked to load the bases on a slider down and in. David Peralta, who has slashed .310/.351/.451/.801 since Might 1st, dropped in his second single of the day for one more two runs.
That might be it for Ashcraft after simply 46 pitches (26 strikes), who lasted simply 2 2/3 innings with three hits, two walks and two hit batters main to a few runs. Fernando Cruz completed off the third with only one pitch to Miguel Vargas, however as soon as once more the Dodgers took a 3+ run lead in opposition to the Reds.
Handed the 3-0 lead, Kershaw struck out De La Cruz on a 1-2 slider and recorded one other floor out earlier than Newman doubled to left. The 2-out additional base hit didn’t quantity to something as Kershaw obtained McLain swinging at a slider once more to finish the third.
Cruz could have escaped the jam he was thrown into within the third, however created his personal issues within the 4th because the Dodgers doubled their lead.
Chris Taylor despatched an 0-1 slider 400 toes to heart to open the inning, the primary of 4 straight Dodgers to achieve base within the 4th. Outman walked after falling behind 0-2 and scored on Barnes’ double to left, simply his second extra-base hit of 2023. With Betts singling to place runners on the corners, Freeman recorded his second RBI of the day on a sacrifice fly for the 6-0 lead.
That was actually all Kershaw wanted for the day as he cruised by means of the 4th together with his first 1-2-3 inning, which included a strikeout of De La Cruz, and labored round a two-out single and stroll by getting Newman out for the primary time within the sport with a 2-2 fastball to complete off a strikeout.
Whereas the Dodgers offense slowed within the fifth and sixth, the Reds did lastly threaten to interrupt by means of in opposition to Kershaw. Along with his command waning a bit within the sixth after hitting 68 pitches by means of 5, Kershaw allowed singles to McLain and India to open the inning.
An automated ball to De La Cruz opened the at-bat, however Kershaw battled again from a 2-0 rely with a fastball and slider for strikes earlier than getting him swinging at a curve for strike three. A one-pitch come out in opposition to Spener Steer and a three-pitch strikeout to Tyler Stephenson ended the risk as Kershaw closed out the inning with seven consecutive strikes after opening it with seven balls amongst 13 pitches.
Three consecutive two-out singles by Vargas, Taylor and Outman loaded the bases for Barnes within the seventh, however a 104.7 mph floor ball ended the inning with out something to point out for it. That really made it three exit velocities round 105 mph for Barnes along with a line out that was at 78.8 mph with a .810 xBA, in order that appeared like a reasonably productive 1-for-4 sport to that time.
Kershaw returned for the seventh, needing simply 10 pitches to retire the underside of the order. That fast inning included his ninth strikeout of the sport, and a couple of,900th of his profession, with one more swing and miss at a slider.
A really spectacular 7 IP with 5 hits and two walks allowed to the 9 strikeouts which included 17 misses on 48 swings. That included 5 misses on 6 swings in opposition to the curve and 12 on 31 sliders. Take out the 11 swings in opposition to the fastball that led to eight balls in play and it’s a 17 misses on 37 swings in opposition to breaking pitches (45.9%).
A single by Freeman was all of the offense might muster within the eighth as Tayler Scott took over for Kershaw. Recalled earlier within the day with Noah Syndergaard hitting the IL, Scott might be just a few days away from heading again to Triple-A when Julio Urias returns.
Scott allowed a one-out double, however in any other case was high quality in his first inning of labor which ended with one other strikeout of De La Cruz on a swing and a miss at a change.
Peralta singled for the fourth time within the ninth and Outman drew an intentional stroll to carry Barnes again to the plate with two outs. Sadly he wouldn’t get a fifth alternative to make contact within the sport as he took a 2-2 fastball off his hand and Betts grounded out with the bases loaded to finish the inning.
Scott remained within the sport for the ninth, with Will Smith taking up behind the plate, and wanted simply 11 extra pitches to shut out the victory.
The Dodgers head to Philadelphia tonight as they start a three-game sequence with the Phillies tomorrow at 4:05 p.m. PT. Michael Grove will face Ranger Suarez, who holds a 5.47 ERA/3.69 FIP/3.79 xFIP in his 24 2/3 innings this season. The Dodgers swept the Phillies in Los Angeles at the beginning of Might, with 36 runs scored in three video games.