The middle of the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup again carried the offense in a 9-1 dominant win over the Arizona Diamondbacks to clinch a ninth consecutive series victory.
Early run support helped take some pressure off Clayton Kershaw as he struggled to locate pitches and didn’t retire the side in order until the third inning.
Heading into the start, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts estimated the plan for Kershaw was roughly five innings or 75 pitches.
Kershaw wound up going through a stretch of seven consecutive batters retired before giving up a leadoff home run to Corbin Carroll on a well-placed curveball.
That wound up being the lone run Kershaw allowed as he got through five innings on 79 pitches. The longtime Dodgers ace has completed five innings in three of four starts since coming off the 15-day injured list.
The lone exception came last week when Kershaw pitched just two innings before a game against the Cleveland Guardians went into a rain delay and ultimately was suspended until the following day.
Kershaw was followed by Gus Varland, Tyson Miller and Victor González to finish out the game.
Kershaw earned the 209th win of his career, tying him with Don Drysdale for second place in Dodgers franchise history. Don Sutton is the Dodgers’ all-time wins leader with 233.
Dodgers offense overwhelms D-Backs
One night after getting to Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen, the Dodgers scored three runs in the first inning yet again.
It required challenging an out call at first base, which was overturned to put runners at the corners with two outs. David Peralta immediately made it pay off with an RBI double and Jason Heyward followed with his own extra-base hit to bring in two more runs.
Miguel Rojas added an RBI single in the second inning, and Peralta and Chris Taylor both drove in runs in the third. James Outman’s sacrifice fly extended the Dodgers’ lead to 6-1 in the fifth inning, and Mookie Betts and Will Smith each hit a solo home run in the sixth.
Betts’ 36 home runs this season set a new career high as he continues to take hold of the National League MVP race.
Peralta, Heyward and Taylor went a combined 9-for-11 with four doubles and five RBI. Taylor alone was 3-for-3 with two doubles and one walk on his bobblehead night and birthday.
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