The Los Angeles Dodgers provided Clayton Kershaw with a 4-0 lead by the second inning on Sunday and were up 5-2 on the Milwaukee Brewers when he exited after six innings.
Although Kershaw walked three of the first six batters faced and four overall, he also carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning and finished with six strikeouts. The Brewers’ first hit came on an Orlando Arcia blooper that dropped just fair for a leadoff triple.
The only runs Kershaw allowed came two batters later when Lorenzo Cain hit a home run. While the Dodgers bullpen had stabilized of late, the trio of Scott Alexander, Pedro Baez and Kenley Jansen were shaky.
If not for Cody Bellinger making a terrific leaping catch to rob Christian Yelich, Pedro Baez would’ve surrendered a leadoff home run. He wound up giving way to Jansen with two outs in the eighth inning and responsible for a pair of runners on base.
Jansen couldn’t put Eric Thames away and wound up surrendering a game-tying three-run home run. Austin Barnes set up the target high and away from Thames but Jansen missed over the plate.
Bellinger bailed the Dodgers out with a game-winning home run in the ninth, but Jansen understandably was frustrated by his pitch to Thames, per Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times
“It’s just sometimes you make mental mistakes,” said Jansen, who rebounded to strike out the side in the ninth inning. “That’s the hardest thing to deal with because that’s not supposed to happen.”
The blown save was Jansen’s first in eight opportunities this season. He’s now allowed two home runs in 11.2 innings pitched.
Although he failed to preserve the Dodgers’ initial lead, Jansen had recently seen encouraging results with the movement and velocity on his cutter. He’s looking to rebound what was a difficult 2018 season in large part because of health-related concerns.