The Los Angeles Dodgers were able to win their weekend series against the Seattle Mariners with an impressive performance on Sunday, scoring double-digit runs for the second time in three days, en route to a 12-1 victory.
The Dodgers offense got going early with five runs in the top of the first inning, which made things easier for ace Clayton Kershaw, who earned his 150th career victory.
Winning a series on the road against a playoff-caliber team in the Mariners was big for the Dodgers, who currently sit in third place in the National League West, two games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks and 1.5 games behind the Colorado Rockies.
Los Angeles was mired in a five-game losing streak last week that dropped them significantly in the standings. The Dodgers still have 37 games left, so there is still plenty of time to make up that deficit.
Kershaw feels they will need to pick up their play right now if they want to win their sixth straight NL West championship and return to the postseason, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“I don’t know how many games we’ve got left , but it’s now or never,” he said. “We better start playing, we better get good.”
Both Arizona and Colorado are playing their best baseball right now as the Diamondbacks have won four of their last five and the Rockies eight of their last nine.
Kershaw pitching like his usual self will be key for the Dodgers down the stretch, and he turned in another solid outing on Sunday, allowing just four hits and one run in seven innings while striking out seven and walking just one.
He has now given up three runs or less while pitching six innings or more in nine straight starts, lowering his season ERA to 2.40.
The Dodgers will find out Monday if they will get another key arm for them back from injury as All-Star closer Kenley Jansen has his follow-up appointment with his cardiologist. If Jansen and Kershaw are both healthy and competing at a high level, then the Dodgers still have to be the favorites to win the division.