Clayton Kershaw pitched 7.1 innings of one-run ball in which he struck out nine batters, gave up five hits, and walked four 4, leading the Dodgers to a 10-2 win over the Padres. Cody Bellinger went 2-4 with two runs scored and five RBI’s, one of his hits being a Grand Slam.
Kershaw dominated for the most part over seven innings on Saturday night. He was noticeably frustrated with home plate umpire Toby Bazner’s strike zone, but he managed to avoid being kicked out of the game. Another thing that may have added to his frustration was the fact that the Padres had runners reach in six of his 7.1 innings. Despite all the frustrations, Kershaw dominated the mound with nine strikeouts and two double plays.
Bellinger started the scoring for the Dodgers in the top of the fourth inning with an RBI single. The Padres had the over shift on for Bellinger, who went the other way with the ball, hitting it into left center field. Justin Turner scored, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Later in the frame, Franklin Gutierrez scored on a throwing error by Padres’ catcher Austin Hedges. Gutierrez was on third and Hedges made a pickoff attempt the throw was not good and it got away, allowing Gutierrez to score.
In the fifth, Kiké Hernández came up to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded. Clayton Richard threw a first-pitch changeup and Kiké hit the ball down the left field line and into the corner for a two-run double.
In the eighth, Ryan Schimpf entered the game as a pinch hitter and hit a 1-0 slider for a home run. Schimpf is one of the few Padres who has actually had success against Kershaw, so it doesn’t make sense why the Padres didn’t start him. After that, Kershaw walked two batters with a strikeout in-between, but that was all for the Dodgers’ ace.
Pedro Báez entered the game and induced a pop out before walking another batter, loading the bases. That was all for Báez and Dave Roberts went to the big man, Kenley Jansen, for a four-out save. The batter Jansen was facing was Hunter Renfroe, who has lots of power. Jansen struck him out looking on a full count and Clayton Kershaw finally stopped pacing.
The Dodgers loaded the bases twice in the bottom of the ninth inning. The first time, Joc Pederson, who reached after getting hit by a pitch, scored on a wild pitch by Miguel Diaz. Andrew Toles re-loaded the bases with a walk and Bellinger came to the plate with two outs. With no balls and two strikes, Bellinger got a fastball up and in and hammered it over the wall in right field for a Grand Slam. It was the first Grand Slam of his career and it gave the Dodgers a 10-1 lead.
Jansen went back to the mound to pitch the ninth inning even though it was no longer a save situation. Bellinger’s grand slam happened too quickly for the Dodgers to get anyone else warming in the bullpen, so Jansen had to bat for himself in the top of the ninth, then finish the game with a nine-run lead. After two strikeouts, Jansen gave up a single to Manuel Margot, then threw a wild pitch sending Margot to second. Jansen induced a groundball to third, but Justin Turner made an errant throw that got away and allowed a run to score. Jansen then got Wil Myers to pop out in foul territory.
Keys To The Game:
Kiké Does It All:
In the first inning, Kiké Hernández caught a ball in center field for the first out, then fired it to third to nab Wil Myers who was trying to advance. The throw from Hernández was perfect, allowing Turner to tag Myers. Kiké also contributed with his bat in the fifth inning. He came up with the bases loaded and hit a double, driving in two runs.
Strike Three Called:
In the eighth inning, Kenley Jansen was brought into the game with the bases loaded, two outs, and Hunter Renfroe at the plate. His job was to preserve the one-run game that Clayton Kershaw had thrown. The runners on second and third were both Kershaw’s responsibility, meaning that if they scored, Kershaw would be charged with the runs. Jansen worked a full count, then got Renfroe looking at a cutter.
If the weather allows, the Dodgers will send Brandon McCarthy to the mound against Trevor Cahill. McCarthy is undefeated this year and hopes to keep his streak going. McCarthy suffered a shoulder injury during a weight room incident and may not be able to swing a bat. The injury is on his left should, meaning that throwing will not be a problem. The game will start at 1:40 pm PT and be televised on SportsNet LA.