Recap: Clayton Kershaw Settles In, Dodgers Play Small Ball To Beat Cardinals
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw against the St. Louis Cardinals
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Clayton Kershaw allowed the leadoff man to reach in each of the first three innings but the end result was a quality start and win against his longtime nemesis as the Los Angeles Dodgers edged the St. Louis Cardinals, 3-1.

Dexter Fowler was the biggest thorn in Kershaw’s side, as he went 2-for-3 with a double. Fowler was not retired until his third plate appearance. No other Cardinals player had more than one hit as Kershaw got through seven innings of work with nine strikeouts.

He had a stretch of 13 consecutive batters retired and completed at least six innings for a 20th time in as many starts this season. Kershaw’s string was snapped on Carpenter’s one-out walk in the seventh, and it was followed by a pair of impressive plays.

The first was Cody Bellinger making an over-the-shoulder catch, then Joc Pederson made a running catch on a line drive hit to the right-center field gap. The sequence further validated moving Pederson off base and returning Bellinger to his natural position.

With offense at a premium for both teams, the Dodgers relied on pieces of offense in the second, third and seventh innings.

After Carpenter’s RBI single gave the Cardinals a lead in the top of the second, Corey Seager’s leadoff double in the bottom half of the inning led to Kristopher Negrón’s game-tying RBI single with two outs.

That extended Negrón’s career-best hitting streak to seven games, with all of it coming after being acquired in a trade with the Seattle Mariners.

In the third, Pederson’s leadoff single was cashed in by Justin Turner on his RBI double. The extra-base hit was Turner’s 15th in 24 games (21 starts) since the All-Star break.

Max Muncy’s two-out RBI single in the seventh drove in an insurance run and alleviated some of the pressure on the Dodgers bullpen.

Adam Kolarek only faced one batter as he was removed after Kolten Wong beat the shift by leading off the eighth with a chopper hit to a vacated third base. The Cardinals proceeded to load the bases against Pedro Baez, but he wiggled out of the jam.