Jul 31, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) is hugged by teammate first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (23) after hitting a solo home run in the 3rd inning against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Kershaw and Dodgers Hold Off Late Atlanta Rally To Finish Sweep

How the hell did Clayton Kershaw ever lose two games this year? That’s the question we’re asking ourselves after witnessing another Kershaw masterpiece. After coming off of his two-hit shutout of the Giants at At&t Park last week, Kershaw tossed another rembrant. This time he held the Braves to just one run on nine hits for his fifth complete game of 2014, as the Dodgers finished a three game sweep, and won their sixth consecutive game. He had to stave off a last minute Atlanta rally to do it, but got Even Gattis to ground into a force out to end the game.

Braves    19 0
Dodgers 2 5 0
WP-Kershaw-13-2
LP-Teheran-10-7
HR-Puig-13

Opposing starter Julio Teheran tried to keep up, and pitched well, but he was no match for Kershaw. Teheran threw eight innings, and allowed just two earned runs on five hits, and whiffed nine, but took the loss.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Kershaw threw 111 pitches, allowing nine hits and whiffed nine. He did not walk a single batter, and looks like he just simply can’t be beaten. Kershaw is now 13-2 and lowers his ERA to 1.71.

The only runs for the Dodgers came in the first and third innings. In the bottom of the first, Puig walked, and Gonzalez doubled off the base of the wall to score Puig. Although the Braves had a play on Puig at the plate, but Gattis dropped the relay throw from La Stella.

The other run came on a solo home run from Puig in the bottom of the third. That was Puig’s thirteenth home run of the season.

Kershaw got three double plays that helped him out of jams in the third, fifth, and seventh innings respectively. Kersh also had to fight off one final Atlanta rally in the top of the ninth.

That rally got on everyone’s nerves, but Kersh was able to get out of it. There was a huge challenge review that did not go the Dodgers way, after consecutive singles from B.Upton and La Stella. Kershaw got a huge whiff on Freeman for the second out, but the other Upton beat out a slow dribbler to third, despite Uribe’s charging play. The New York office ruled him safe, and the score was 2-1 Dodgers. However Kershaw settled himself and got Gattis to hit into a force out at second to end the game. The Dodgers won by a score of 2-1!!

Great game! Here’s how the battle went down at Chavez Ravine……

Kershaw quickly and efficiently retires the Braves in order in the top of the first. B.J. Upton grounds back to the box. He then whiffs Tommy La Stella and Freddie Freeman. That’s it for the Braves in the first.

The Dodger magic continues in the bottom of the first. Dee Gordon starst the game with a ground ball single through the hole at first. With Yasiel Puig at the plate, Gordon is thrown out trying to steal on a good throw from Gattis. Don Mattingly comes out to argue, but the Dodgers don’t waste their challenge. Puig draws a walk, and then Adrian Gonzalez’s double into the gap bounces off the base of the wall to score Puig. Although the relay throw from La Stella was close, as Gattis would have had tagged out the sliding Puig, but he dropped the ball. The Dodgers lead 1-0! Hanley whiffs for the second out. With Gonzo still at second, Crawford whiffs as well to end the frame.

Kershaw returns to the mound in the top of the second. Gordon trips and falls down on Justin Upton’s pop up, but somehow recovers and makes the catch. The next ball is hit right at Gordon as well, and Gordon throws out Evan Gattis. Ryan Doumit whiffs and the Braves go down in order again.

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Kemp walks to lead-off the bottom of the second. Uribe flies out to Doumit. A.J. Ellis flies to Doumit as well for the second out. Kershaw whiffs and the inning ends.

In the top of the third, Andrelton Simmons whiffs, but Phil Gosselin singles over Gordon’s head. Teheran tries to bunt unsuccessfully, then pulls the bat back and swings. He grounds into a 6-3 double play, as Gonzo makes a nice pick on a low throw from Hanley.                                                                                      (Gordon did this, lolz, oh Dee)

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The Dodgers pad their lead in the bottom of the third. After Gordon grounds out, Puig bombs one just over the fence in left field, for his thirteenth home run of the year. Dodgers lead 2-0! Gonzo whiffs. Hanley whffs too. The Dodgers lead 2-0 after three frames.

The Braves get B.J. Upton on with a lead-off single in the top of the fourth. With La Stella at-bat, Upton steals second, but comes off the bag after his slide and is called out. Then Gordon makes a great diving stop to throw out La Stella on hisdribbler to third. Then Freeman singles over Hanley’s head. Justin Upton’s force out ends the inning for Atlanta.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

 Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Teheran retires the Dodgers in order in the bottom of the fourth. Atlanta threatens in the top of the fifth. Consecutive singles from Gattis and Doumit put runners at first and second, and Kershaw and the Dodgers in hot water. But Kersh is resourceful, and resilient. He induces Simmons to ground into a 5-4-3 double play. Kershaw then freezes Gosselin on a called strike three. No soup for you Atlanta! Teheran retires the Dodgers in order in the bottom of the fifth.

Kershaw retires Teheran in the top of the sixth, then freezes B. Upton on a called third strike. That’s six whiffs forKersh now.Kersh then whiffs La Stella on a nastysider as well.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzo singles to right in the bottom of the sixth, but Hanley flies to Doumit, and Crawford lines to Doumit in right field.

Kershaw gets Freeman on a grounder, whiffs Upton, and then retires Gattis to breeze through the top of the seventh. The Braves are getting Kersh’d!

Kershaw induces his third double play in the top of the eighth, to get him out of a jam. Doumit leads-off with a bloop single to center. But Simmons grounds into a 4-3 double play, as Gordon tags out Doumit before tossing to first just in time to beat him. Gosselin grounds to Uribe.

Teheran stays out for the bottom of the eighth. Kershaw whiffs, and Gordon grounds out. Puig doubles off the base of the center field wall. Atlanta intentionally walks Gonzo, and it works, as Hanley pops out to end the frame.

Move to the top of the ninth. Kershaw comes out to finish it off. Pinch-hitter Gerald Laird grounds out to Gonzo. Then Atlanta rallies. Upton, and La Stella with consecutive singles which put runners at first and third with one out. After a fierce battle with Freeman, Kersh whiffs him swinging on a full count. The crowd goes nuts. That brings up Justin Upton with two outs. Upton grounds a slow roller to third, Uribe charges in and throws on the run, but the first base umpire rules him safe. The Dodgers challenge.

The New York office rules him safe, as the other Upton brings home the first run of the night for Atlanta. 2-1 Dodgers. With Kenley, and Howell both warming in the Dodger bullpen, the Dodgers stick with Kershaw. As Don Mattingly said after the game, it was his game to win or lose.

Kershaw gets Gattis to ground into a force out at second to finally end the game. The Dodgers win 2-1!

The Dodgers now improve to 62-47 and have won their sixth consecutive game. The Giants were idle tonight, so the Dodgers pick up a half game on the second place Giants. They now lead the NL West by 3.5 games.

The party continues on Friday evening as the Chicago Cubs come into Dodger Stadium for a three game series. Kyle Hendricks will battle Dan Haren at 7:10 PM

Go Blue!

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Tags: Clayton Kershaw Julio Teheran Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp Yasiel Puig

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