Dodgers 3 7 0
Diamondbacks 1 5 1
WP- Kershaw (3-1)
LP- Kennedy (3-3)
S- Jansen (4)
The Dodgers go for their fifth consecutive win as they take on the reigning NL West Champion Arizona Diamondbacks for the first time this season. In order to pick up the win, the healthy Dodgers remaining on the roster would need to rally around each other to pull it off without Matt Kemp in the lineup. They would be essentially playing short two guys since Juan Uribe was placed on the 15-day DL before the game, and his replacement Elian Herrera wouldn’t arrive to Dodger Stadium until later in the game. After the game concluded, the Dodgers announced that Matt Kemp will be going on the 15-day DL as well, and Jerry Sands is being called up. Let’s hope for Kemp’s speedy recovery.
Ian Kennedy goes to the mound for the D-backs in the bottom half of the first, and Dee Gordon promptly leads off with a line drive single. With Mark Ellis at bat, Ian Kennedy tries to pick off Dee at first. The ball gets away sending Gordon off to the races. Before you can say “D-Backs suck” Gordon has reached third on the Kennedy error. Mark Ellis grounds out to the right side, and the run scores giving the Dodgers an early 1-0 lead. Bobby Abreu lines out to right field for the second out. Andre Ethier swings at a bad ball, and the inning is over.
In the second, Kershaw picks up his first strikeout of the game by whiffing Miguel Montero. The D-Backs go down in order.
Ian Kennedy strikes out A.J. Ellis to start the second inning off. James Loney draws a walk. Adam Kennedy grounds in to a force out. Willie Bloomquist makes a nice catch over his head on a little blooper hit by Tony Gwynn Jr. for the final out of the inning.
A.J. Pollock leads off the third inning for the D-backs with a single. Ian Kennedy bunts him over to second. Willie Bloomquist singles on a line drive to center field, and Tony Gwynn Jr. makes an absolutely perfect throw to home where A.J Ellis easily tags out the other A.J.-A.J. Pollack. What a throw!
Clayton Kershaw draws a walk, and Dee Gordon grounds him over to second. Mark Ellis strikes out swinging, and Abreu singles Kershaw over to third with two outs. Andre Ethier makes the last out in the bottom of the third on a deep fly ball to center.
Justin Upton is struck out by Kershaw in the top of the fourth on a big 73 mph rainbow curve. Kubel draws a one-out walk. Paul Goldschmidt pops out to A.J. Ellis in foul territory behind the plate for the second out. Montero strikes out for the second time on the night.
A.J Ellis flies out in the Dodgers’ half of the fourth, but James Loney manages a single with one out. Ian Kennedy wins the battle of the Kennedys as he easily gets Adam to pop out. Tony Gwynn Jr. grounds out to end the inning.
Clayton Kershaw pitches up and in to Ian Kennedy, and warnings are issued since there is prior history between the two teams. Last season Hong-Chih Kuo threw wildly toward Gerardo Parra who then acted smug after he hit a homerun against Kuo. The thing was he was ignorant to the fact the Kuo was suffering from the yips and an anxiety disorder. Kuo was throwing wildly in the pen before he even came in to the game. Clayton Kershaw was yelling from the dugout, and he hit Parra in his next at bat causing Kershaw to be ejected and suspended. Back to this game…Ian Kennedy ends up walking with two-outs in the fifth. Kershaw ends the inning by whiffing Bloomquist.
Kershaw and Gordon strike out back-to-back in the bottom of the fifth. Mark Ellis grounds out, and the Dodgers go down quickly in order.
Aaron Hill walks to lead off the sixth, and Upton grounds in to a force play. Upton steals second with Kubel at the plate. Abreu makes a nice running catch in left field to retire Kubel for the second out. Kersh strikes out Goldschmidt, and he angrily throws down his batting helmet and bat.
In the bottom part of the sixth, Andre Ethier crushes his eighth homerun of the year off Ian Kennedy, and the Dodgers now lead 2-0. A.J. Ellis follows with a base hit. Ellis now has reached base in 24 consecutive games. Ian Kennedy is scuffling now, and James Loney hits a nicely placed single to center, and A.J. moves over to third base. Once again it’s Kennedy vs. Kennedy with one out and runners at first and third. Adam flies out to Pollack who forgets how many outs there are, and he lazily throws the ball back in. A.J. Ellis scores, 3-0 Dodgers. Gwynn grounds out to end the frame.
On to the seventh inning. Ryan Roberts, who always gives the Dodgers a bad time, gets a one-out singlE. Roberts picks Kershaw’s pocket and steals second. Pollack grounds out to Loney who makes a nice defensive play. Cody Ransom comes up to pinch-hit for Ian Kennedy, and he is whiffed by Kersh to end the inning.
Ian Kennedy pitched 6 innings, allowing 6 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, and 5 strikeouts on 98 pitches.
Craig Breslow, lefty, comes out of Arizona’s pen to pitch to pinch-hitter Justin Sellers in the bottom half of the seventh. Sellers goes down on strikes as well as Gordon for the first two outs. Mark Ellis flies out as the Dodgers go down 1-2-3.
Clayton Kershaw pitched 7 shutout innings, allowing 4 hits, 3 walks, and 6 strikeouts on 108 pitches.
For the eighth Josh Lindblom picks up for Kershaw. He gets Bloomquist out on a grounder, but then Aaron Hill goes deep for a solo shot to erase the shutout, 3-1 Dodgers. Upton pops out to Mark Ellis who makes his second nice defensive play of the inning. Kubel strikes out, and the D-backs are down to their last three outs.
Andre Ethier singles in the bottom of the eighth with one out as he goes 2 for 4 on the night. The Dodgers do little else in the inning. Matt Kemp, who is resting a strained hamstring, does not appear in the game thus ending his consecutive games played streak at 399.
Kenley Jansen comes in to close for the Dodgers in the ninth inning, and it’s a poppin’ fresh inning for the D-backs. James Loney makes a nice backhanded catch over the railing on Goldschmidt’s pop up. Then Justin Sellers makes an amazing catch on a pop up by Montero. He catches the ball, and he can’t stop in time as he falls over in to the stands! Ryan Roberts hits the third pop up of the inning, and James Loney catches it to secure the victory for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers now are 24-11, and they have the best record in MLB. The Arizona Diamondbacks now fall to 9 1/2 games back in the division. Even with the rash of injuries, the Dodgers use good defense and strike early in the first inning. Losing Kemp is surely disappointing, but it is early in the season and we are in first place. We’re playing with heart, and with Kemp down and others hurt, we must rely on Andre Ethier and the B players to pull through.