After failing to clinch the National League West with Zack Greinke on the mound, the Los Angeles Dodgers next turned to Clayton Kershaw in the middle game of their four-game series against the San Francisco Giants.
While starting Kershaw brings a certain sense of confidence and calmness to the club, the Dodgers had their work cut out for them as the Giants sent Madison Bumgarner to the hill.
Heading into Tuesday’s showdown, San Francisco had won the last five Bumgarner-Kershaw matchups, including all three this season. That changed however as the Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, and tacked on another run int he second.
Kershaw meanwhile shut the Giants down, finishing the night with 13 strikeouts in a complete-game shutout. Bumgarner battled a high pitch count throughout the game and was eventually chased in the sixth.
The reigning World Series MVP retired the first two batters faced in the sixth, before hanging a slow curveball to Justin Ruggiano that was sent halfway up the bleachers in left field for a solo home run:
Ruggiano’s home run marked the beginning of the end for Bumgarner as A.J. Ellis connected for a solo shot on the left-hander’s next pitch: