Clayton Kershaw nearly made MLB history and the Los Angeles Dodgers continued their offensive onslaught in a 9-1 drubbing of the Miami Marlins. They slugged four home runs, led by two from Edwin Rios.
Justin Turner carried over Tuesday night’s home run barrage with a solo shot in the first inning. After Cody Bellinger’s bunt single, Corey Seager’s two-run blast gave Kershaw an early 3-0 lead.
Rios’ first career home run came in the fourth inning, and he added to the memorable night with an upper-deck shot in the sixth. Rios joined Matt Beaty, Walker Buehler, Kyle Garlick and Will Smith as Dodgers to hit their first career home runs this season.
He became the franchise’s first player to hit his first two home runs in the same game since Cody Bellinger did so as a rookie in 2017.
The Dodgers finished the night with 10 home runs through the first two games against the Marlins, leaving them within striking distance of the franchise record of 12 in a three-game series (set against the Milwaukee Brewers in May 2002).
Thee franchise record for most homers in a series is 15, which has been accomplished twice, though in a four-game series both times — and most recently against the Philadelphia Phillies this season.
In his quest to tie Sandy Koufax for fifth place on the Dodgers’ all-time wins list with 165, Kershaw began his night in dominant fashion. He struck out the side in the first inning on 16 pitches, then did so again in the second on just 14 pitches.
He started the third inning with a seventh consecutive strikeout, pulling to within one of tying the MLB record for most strikeouts to start a game. A foul ball down the left-field line nearly snapped his streak, but Matt Beaty dropped the ball in foul territory upon colliding with the wall.
Kershaw was one strike away from tying with Jim Deshaies (1986), Jacob deGrom (2014) and German Marquez (2018) for the MLB record, but Lewis Brinson put the ball in play by grounding out to shortstop. It was followed by yet another strikeout.
Although the MLB record evaded him, Kershaw was still working on history as he’d yet to allow a baserunner. Turner snaring a line drive preserved that, and had the makings of being the proverbial one play that often saves a perfect game or no-hitter, but it was followed by a single into right field.
Kershaw wound up allowing just two hits over seven shutout innings and he matched a season high with 10 strikeouts, which was set against the Marlins in a start last month at Dodger Stadium. He additionally went at least six innings for a 21st time in as many outings this year.
Curtis Granderson’s leadoff home run against Yimi Garcia in the bottom of the ninth inning prevented the Marlins from being shut out.