Clayton Kershaw turned in a stellar start and the Los Angeles Dodgers received home runs from Joey Gallo, Freddie Freeman and Max Muncy in a 4-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks that clinched the 2022 National League West title. The Dodgers are division champions for a ninth time in the past 10 seasons.
Gallo provided them with an early lead on his mammoth two-run homer in the second inning that reached the promenade area beyond the high wall in center field. Freeman then drove his solo shot over the Chase Field pool to extend the Dodgers’ lead to 3-0 in the third inning.
Merrill Kelly entered the start having allowed a combined 14 runs over 13 innings pitched across three starts against the Dodgers this season, taking the loss in each of those outings. He exited after five innings on Tuesday night with the Dodgers ahead 3-0.
Muncy added to it with a solo home run off Diamondbacks relief pitcher Taylor Widener. Muncy gave the Dodgers five players with at least 20 home runs this season, the most on one team this season.
By then Clayton Kershaw was putting the finishing touches on a vintage performance. He held the Diamondbacks to just one hit and one walk over seven scoreless innings. Kershaw didn’t allow a hit until Geraldo Perdomo’s one-out single in the third inning.
That was followed by Kershaw retiring 13 batters in a row. He was aided during that stretch with Mookie Betts making a terrific sliding catch in front of the Dodgers’ bullpen for the first out in the seventh inning.
Kershaw was in familiar territory as Tuesday’s start marked his fourth time starting a game in which the Dodgers clinched the NL West. He’s allowed just one run and collected 39 strikeouts over 30 innings in those games. Kershaw previously started division-clinching games for the Dodgers in 2009, 2014 and 2015.
Dodgers make LA history
By clinching the NL West in their 141st game of the season, the 2022 Dodgers set the Los Angeles franchise record for fastest team to wrap up the division. It previously belonged to the 2019 Dodgers, who won the NL West in 146 games.
The 1955 Brooklyn team holds all-time Dodgers franchise record by clinching the pennant in 138 games.
Are you following Dodger Blue on Instagram? It’s the best way to see exclusive coverage from games and events, get your questions answered, and more!