The Los Angeles Dodgers once again leaned on Clayton Kershaw to play the role of stopper, and he delivered in a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels in the Freeway Series opener. The Dodgers snapped a three-game losing streak with their victory.
Last season, Kershaw carried a perfect game into the eighth inning at Angel Stadium. He wasn’t quite as dominant Tuesday night, but Kershaw still held the Angels without a hit until Brandon Drury’s two-out single in the bottom of the fourth.
That nearly led to a run for the Angels as Hunter Renfroe followed with a double to center field. Despite Miguel Rojas’ relay throw taking Will Smith up the first-base line, he recovered in time to get the tag down.
However, the Dodgers needed to challenge the safe call at home plate in order to keep the game locked in a scoreless tie. The Dodgers improved to 7-for-16 on replay challenges this season with their successful overturn.
Kershaw allowed five hits as he got through seven scoreless innings. The Angels appeared primed to break up the scoreless tie in the seventh as a single and double put two on with nobody out.
Kershaw responded to retire the next two batters, only to then issue a walk that loaded the bases. He escaped the jam by getting Andrew Velazquez to ground out. Velazquez to that point had been on base in both of his plate appearances.
Reid Detmers largely matched Kershaw’s brilliance as he held the Dodgers to just two hits over seven shutout innings as well.
Detmers was aided by Taylor Ward making a diving catch in the left-center field gap during the second inning to keep J.D. Martinez at first base after his leadoff single.
The Dodgers didn’t muster another hit off Detmers until Will Smith led off the seventh inning with a single. Like Martinez, Smith remained at first base.
Sandwiched between the two hits was a leadoff walk by Freddie Freeman in the fourth inning. He stole second base with one out, but was stranded in scoring position by Martinez and Miguel Vargas.
A matchup of the bullpens swung in the Dodgers’ favor, which was a change from recent weeks. Miguel Rojas’ one-out double off Chris Devenski led to a run when Michael Busch hit a chopper that took a fortuitous last bounce to carry over Kevin Padlo’s head for an RBI single.
Smith later provided some breathing room with a two-out RBI base hit.
Caleb Ferguson retired the top of the Angels lineup in order in the eighth inning, and Evan Phillips converted his eighth save of the season.
Clayton Kershaw vs. Shohei Ohtani
Both Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout were hitless on the night against Kershaw, going a combined 0-for-6 with one strikeout.
Ohtani fell to 0-for-11 with four strikeouts in his career against Kershaw.
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