An off day removed from having a season-best seven-game winning streak snapped, Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers failed to get back on track in a 2-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers dropped back-to-back games since falling to the Chicago Cubs in April.
The loss was Kershaw’s first this season and snapped the streak of his regular-season starts the Dodgers had won at 17. L.A. certainly didn’t aid their cause as they failed to capitalize on an early opportunity.
Singles by Max Muncy and Justin Turner and a Cody Bellinger walk loaded the bases with one out in the first inning. However, Drew Pomeranz got David Freese and Corey Seager swinging to strike out the side in a scoreless first inning despite the jam and throwing 30 pitches.
Pomeranz struck out two more in a perfect second inning and another in a 1-2-3 third. Seager’s two-out single in the fourth snapped Pomeranz’s string of consecutive batters retired at 10. Seager was stranded by Kiké Hernandez.
The left-hander wound up recording seven strikeouts and holding the Dodgers to just three hits over five scoreless innings in a complete turnaround from his previous outings. L.A. didn’t scratch until Taylor’s solo home run off Tony Watson in the eighth inning.
Kershaw similarly breezed through the early innings of his start before running into trouble in the fifth. A leadoff single and later two-out base hit put the go-ahead run in scoring position but Kershaw retired Joe Panik to keep the game locked in a scoreless tie.
However, that changed in the sixth inning when a leadoff walk was followed by a base hit. Kevin Pillar’s floater of an RBI single gave the Giants a 1-0 lead in large part due to Taylor’s throw being up the first-base line.
Then Max Muncy, who had already made a pair of impressive plays at second base, failed to field a ground ball and throw home in time. Kershaw managed to minimize the damage to two runs by inducing a double play after the RBI infield single.
Kershaw got through seven innings for a second consecutive game and the quality start was his ninth in 10 outings this season.