Stuck in a six-game losing streak, the Los Angeles Dodgers took the field Sunday against the San Diego Padres facing the prospect of going winless on their homestand.
Although the offense has been the main culprit, if there was one pitcher who could toss a shutout for the Dodgers, it was Clayton Kershaw. The three-time Cy Young Award winner came out firing, striking out the side in the first inning on just 11 pitches.
What’s more, Kershaw put all three batters away on three different types of pitches — curveball, slider and fastball.
Kershaw continued to cruise through the second and third innings, then helped his cause in the bottom of the third. With one out and A.J. Ellis standing on second base after driving a double off the wall in center, Kershaw slapped an RBI single up the middle to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
The Padres got their first hit against Kershaw with two outs in the top of the fifth inning, ending his pursuit of a perfect game. However, Alexei Ramirez was thrown out by Yasiel Puig on his attempt to leg out a double.
The Padres only threat against Kershaw came in the seventh inning, on back-to-back singles by Wil Myers and Matt Kemp. With runners on the corner and one out, Kershaw struck out Melvin Upton Jr. and got Derek Norris to fly out to end the seventh inning.
Padres southpaw Drew Pomeranz battled well against Kershaw and the Dodgers, turning in his best outing of the season. Pomeranz allowed just three hits and one run over seven innings pitched.
After eight shutout innings, Kershaw struck out two more in the ninth en route to throwing a complete-game shutout: