Clayton Kershaw Grows Frustrated In 4-Walk Start, Cody Bellinger Hits Grand Slam In Dodgers Win Over Padres
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

When the Los Angeles Dodgers last faced Clayton Richard he held them scoreless over eight innings. Through the first three innings Saturday night at Petco Park, the Dodgers seemed poised for a repeat performance against the San Diego Padres’ lefty.

Putting at least the leadoff man on base each inning paid dividends in the fourth. A Justin Turner single was followed by a Franklin Gutierrez walk, setting the table for Cody Bellinger. In retrospect the Padres did themselves a disservice by shifting, as Bellinger grounded an RBI single through shortstop and into left field.

Austin Hedges’ pickoff attempt of Gutierrez at third base backfired, with the ball hitting Gutierrez on his back and carrying to back of third. Yasiel Puig followed with an RBI single, and the Dodgers were out to a 3-0 lead.

Richard lost full command of striking zone in the fifth, walking the bases loaded. He nearly managed to escape the trouble by inducing Bellinger into a pop-out, but Kiké Hernandez followed with a two-run double.

In similar fashion to Richard, Clayton Kershaw navigated early traffic. The Padres stalled in the bottom of the first when a Wil Myers deep flyout resulted in a double play as Kiké Hernandez threw out Manuel Margot on his attempt to tag from second base.

Kershaw’s string of consecutive batters retired was snapped at seven when Chris Taylor bobbled a grounder and wide of first base. He was charged for two errors on the play, and the inning was extended by Hunter Renfroe’s walk.

Kershaw stranded both runners by getting Jabari Walsh to fly out. Kershaw struck out a pair and worked around a two-out single in the fifth, and retired the side in order in the sixth. That was with some help, though, as Corey Seager made a terrific diving stop deep in the hole, and Bellinger dug out his throw to end the inning.

Kershaw to that point was at 96 pitches over seven shutout innings, with eight strikeouts. Of the four hits allowed, two were infield singles, and a third skipped off Turner’s glove on a play he typically makes.

The left-handed ace curiously was back on the mound to start the eighth and promptly lost his shutout bid on Ryan Schimpf’s pinch-hit home run. Kershaw proceeded to issue his third and fourth walks of the game prior to giving way to Pedro Baez with one out.

There some disagreement during the inning between Kershaw and home plate umpire Toby Basner on balls and strikes, and Kershaw glared in Basner’s direction as he exited the game.

Baez retired one of two batters faced, handing the ball over to Kenley Jansen after walking Hedges to load the bases. Jansen went to a full count on Renfroe before catching him looking to end the inning.

With one run already across in the ninth because of Miguel Diaz’s lack of command, Bellinger’s grand slam blew the game open. Jansen allowed a pair of singles in the ninth and was lifted after a run scored on Turner’s throwing error.

Jansen threw 33 pitches in one inning of work. Chris Hatcher needed one pitch to record the final out of the Dodgers’ 10-2 victory.

Kershaw improved to a career 66-0 when given a minimum of a five-run lead, and the four-walk game was his first in the regular season since May 10, 2015 at Coors Field. Kershaw’s 118 pitches were a season high and most since throwing 132 in a complete game against the San Francisco Giants on Sept. 2, 2015.

With back-to-back victories at Petco Park, the Dodgers assured themselves their first series win on the road this season.