Kershaw was dominant through the first 6 innings, striking out 5 of the first 7 batters he faced. From there, Kershaw used the momentum he had built up to keep the Rays off balance. His curveball and slider were both working and his velocity was around 90 mph.
“If felt good,” Kershaw said. “I think other than that last inning, I felt everything went pretty well. Not a whole lot of hard contact; it was all right.”
That last inning, as Kershaw put it was troublesome for the southpaw. His slider flattened out and his curveball lost its bite. Because of this, the Rays were able to put a couple runners on. The runners later scored.
They Rays are in second place in the AL East, but there were some times last night where they didn’t play like it. Once such instance came in the first inning. With a man on first, Justin Turner hit a simple single to right field that got past both outfielders and rolled to the wall. A run scored and the Dodgers led 1-0.
The Dodgers really took control of the game in the seventh inning. They had a 3-0 lead going into it, but they quickly extended it. Kiké Hernández drove in a run with a two-out single to beat the shift and give the Dodgers a 4-0 lead. Corey Seager then extended the lead with an RBI single of his own. Not to be outdone, Joc Pederson drove in another run with an infield single.
Pederson collected another RBI in the 9th inning, tacking on a big insurance run. The Dodgers led 6-3 when Pederson hit a ground-rule double with a man on second. This run extended the Dodger lead to 7-3, removing the save opportunity and giving Kenley Jansen extra room to work.
What A Throw
In the bottom of the 8th inning, Rays’ outfielder Kevin Kiermaier made a big mistake, trying to stretch a double into a triple with no outs and his team trailing by 3. Well, Alex Verdugo gunned him down.
America’s pitcher, Rich Hill, will take the mound in the final game the two-game series against the Rays. Ryne Stanek will be the Rays’ first pitcher. Stanek has appeared in 19 games this year, starting 12, but only pitching 24.1 innings. This means he will be the “opener” for the Rays. I have no idea who will go after him. Hill is 1-1 on the year with a 3.00 ERA and Stanek is 0-1 with a 3.70 ERA. The game will begin at 4:10 pm.