Recap: Freddie Freeman, Austin Barnes Back Clayton Kershaw In Dodgers’ Shut Out Of Cubs

Clayton Kershaw turned in a strong start and the Los Angeles Dodgers received contributions from Freddie Freeman and Austin Barnes in 7-0 shut out of the Chicago Cubs in the first game of a split doubleheader to extend their winning streak to four games.

When Kershaw last was on the mound at Wrigley Field, he pitched just one inning in the shortest start of his career. Just over one year later, Kershaw held the Cubs to five hits over seven scoreless innings to lower his season ERA to 1.80.

Patrick Wisdom nearly got the Cubs on the board in the bottom of the seventh but his would-be two-run home run was kept in the ballpark thanks to wind blowing in off Lake Michigan.

Kershaw was efficient throughout the afternoon as he pitched to contact and regularly avoided going deep into counts. Kershaw’s performance was all the more key as it helped preserve the Dodgers bullpen for the nightcap against the Cubs.

He was staked an early lead thanks to Freddie Freeman’s RBI double in the first inning. Freeman finished the day with three doubles, doing so for the first time since 2018.

The Dodgers did let Drew Smyly off the hook as he threw 38 pitches in the first inning but only allowed the one run. L.A. added to their lead in the fourth inning behind Austin Barnes’ solo home run.

Barnes’ third home run of the season pulled him even with Freeman and Max Muncy for second-most on the team. Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts are tied for the Dodgers’ lead with four homers each.

Freeman’s second double of the game chase Smyly with one out in the fifth inning. A pitching change didn’t lend to positive results for the Cubs as Robert Gsellman immediately walked Trea Turner and gave up a two-run double to Justin Turner.

Turner was mired in a 1-for-19 skid prior to the extra-base hit. The double was roped to left field at a 107.7 mph exit velocity, Turner’s hardest-hit ball of the season.

After Freeman’s third double, Trea Turner padded the Dodgers’ lead with an RBI single in the seventh inning. Barnes added to his big day with a two-run base hit in the eighth inning.

Dodgers bullpen in good shape

In addition to rest gained via consecutive off days, the Dodgers bullpen only needed to cover two innings in the series opener. Those were handled by Phil Bickford and Reyes Moronta, leaving the group of relief pitchers in strong position to back Tyler Anderson in the second game of the doubleheader.

Robbie Erlin was called up as the 27th player eligible.

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