A bit of an ominous start gave way to a 7-2 win for the Los Angeles Dodgers as they avoided being swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Jackie Robinson Day at Dodger Stadium. Clayton Kershaw finished with 12 strikeouts in seven innings to earn his first win in four starts.
Moreover, the Dodgers avoided being swept for a second time the Diamondbacks in a three-game series this season, and snapped an 11-game losing streak in head-to-head meetings. It was the longest
After Zock Godley needed all of seven pitches to retire the side in order in the bottom of the first, the right-hander labored in each inning that followed. After Yasiel Puig reached on an error, Austin Barnes and Chase Utley drew walks to load the bases with one out in the second.
Kiké Hernandez’s sacrifice fly broke a scoreless tie before Godley could get out of the inning. Godley faced another bases-loaded situation with one out in the third, when he walked Corey Seager and Matt Kemp and couldn’t corral a comebacker.
Yasiel Puig ripped a two-run single into center field, giving the Dodgers just their second hit of the afternoon and extending their lead to 3-0. Godley’s command continued to betray him, leading to a walk of Austin Barnes that again loaded the bases, and another to Chase Utley that pushed a run across.
Chris Taylor’s led off the fourth inning with a home run, and added a two-run double in the fifth, with both hits coming on the first pitch. The homer was Taylor’s third this season, which leads the team.
As the Dodgers continued to pad their lead, Kershaw looked dominant as ever, overcoming a 25-pitch first inning. He struck out two batters each inning through the sixth, and didn’t allow a hit until David Peralta’s two-out double in the third.
That in some part was due to Taylor getting turned around and allowing the ball to hit off the fence. Paul Goldschmidt broke up Kershaw’s shutout bid with a solo home run in the seventh inning, which was the Dodgers’ ace’s last of the afternoon.
Peralta’s double and Goldschmidt’s home run were the only hits Kershaw allowed. Of his 12 strikeouts, 10 came on a slider that had better depth than he’d shown in recent outings. It was Kershaw’s ninth career start with at least 12 strikeouts and zero walks.
Pedro Baez tossed a scoreless eighth, while Ross Stripling gave up an RBI single before getting through the ninth.