Recap: Clayton Kershaw Sets Season High In Strikeouts; Dodgers Get Series Win Against Cubs
Clayton Kershaw
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

The last time Clayton Kershaw faced the Chicago Cubs it amounted to the shortest start of his career at only one inning of work. There was no repeat of that performance Sunday night as he set a season high with 13 strikeouts in a 7-1 win for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Kershaw was dominant from the first pitch, relying on a steady dose of sliders and curveballs sprinkled in. The Cubs didn’t muster a baserunner until Patrick Wisdom’s leadoff single in the third inning.

Kershaw responded to strike out the next three batters and retire five in a row until Javier Baez hit a two-out solo home run in the fourth inning. Although it broke up Kershaw’s bid for a shutout, it hardly put a dent in the Dodgers’ lead.

They jumped ahead in the second inning by taking advantage of Adbert Alzolay’s control troubles. He hit Matt Beaty with a pitch to start the bottom of the second inning, then walked Chris Taylor and Gavin Lux to load the bases with nobody out.

Zach McKinstry followed that with his first career grand slam, which was also the Dodgers’ first hit on the afternoon. Mookie Betts reached on a Baez throwing error with two outs and it immediately cost the Cubs as Cody Bellinger hit his second home run in as many games.

Bellinger collected a third RBI on the day with a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning. The Cubs’ bullpen otherwise did their part to quiet the Dodgers, but Kershaw continued to cruise through his outing.

He got through eight innings for the first time since Aug. 25, 2018, against the San Diego Padres. His 13 strikeouts were the most in a regular-season start since reaching that same total against the Kansas City Royals on July 9, 2017.

Kershaw also had 13 strikeouts against the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 2 of last year’s National League Wild Card Series.

Dodgers gain on Giants

With the National League West-leading San Francisco Giants suffering a loss Sunday, the Dodgers picked up a full game in the standings. The storied rivals begin a two-game series at Dodger Stadium on Monday.

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