It was interesting to see how the Dodgers would rebound after Wednesday evening’s throwing debacle loss in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Dodgers ended up just returning to do what they do best, that is hitting baseballs over the fence. Clayton Kershaw won his National league leading twelfth game and struck out 12 in seven dominant frames as the Dodgers blasted three more long balls to go onto defeat the Angels 6-2, splitting the Freeway series. Pantone 294’s spirit was still felt throughout Disneyland.
Yasiel Puig, Chase Utley and Joc Pederson all launched home runs deep into the Anaheim night as the Dodgers broke the franchise record for most home runs in a calendar month with 50 taters in the month of June.
Dodgers 6 9 1
Angels 2 6 1
The game started out as a slow paced pitcher’s duel in the beginning as Kershaw and J.C. Ramirez exchanged zeroes through the first three innings. Ramirez would eventually have to exit the game after being hit in the hip on a line drive off the bat of Puig in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Dodgers had already gotten to him by then.
In the early innings the Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on a bloop single from Logan Forsythe, a two-base throwing error from Cliff Pennington that allowed Puig to advance to second base and Forsythe to go to third. There was a walk to Trayce Thompson and a sacrifice fly from Chase Utley. The Dodgers could have gotten a second run home, but Puig was thrown out at the plate on Corey Seager’s fielder’s choice ground ball to second. Seager returned to the lineup for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury on June 23. Seager went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.
Kershaw cruised the most of the game. He struck out the side in the first inning. He racked up two more in the top of the fourth inning, but some sloppy Dodger defense allowed the Angels to plate one and tie the score at 1-1. Cameron Maybin’s single to left was bobbled by Thompson and Maybin took advantage of the miscue to take second base. He would end up on third after a ground out and scored when Seager’s throw to the plate was wide on an Albert Pujols grounder. Kershaw would get frustrated but recover to strikeout Marte and Martin Maldonado to end the inning.
The Dodgers scored two more when Puig lined a missile over the low wall inside the left field line. One batter later Utley would smash a solo home run as well to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead. Kershaw would strike out the side in the bottom of the fifth inning, retiring Danny Espinosa, Eric Young Jr. and Cliff Pennington.
The Dodgers would extend their lead with three additional runs in the top of the sixth inning. Justin Turner singled and Cody Bellinger doubles him to third. One out later Joc Pederson would smash a towering three-run home run to put the Dodgers up by a 6-1 score. Later in the inning Ramirez would be replaced by Blake Parker after getting hit in the hip by a Puig liner.
Kershaw would pitch around a Pujols double and whiff two more in the bottom of the sixth. Kershaw would then cruise through the bottom of the seventh ending the frame by striking out Young for his twelfth swing and miss of the game. The Dodgers should have had an easy win without any aggravation. Unfortunately Roberts took out Kershaw in the bottom of the eighth after only 93 pitches and brought in Luis Avilan for the 800 time. Avilan was predictably horrible giving up three consecutive singles (Pennington, Maybin, Calhoun) and was taken out with runners at first and third and the Dodgers leading 6-2.
Brandon Morrow was called in and he blows away Pujols for the first out. However he accidentally hits Yunel Escobar with a pitch in his shoulder. Escobar starts yelling like a lunatic and the benches clear. Don’t worry nothing happened other than some unkind words exchanged as both teams were issued warnings by the umpires. Morrow who has been very good since having his contract purchased strikes out Valbuena for the second out. Roberts finally stops farting around and brings in Kenley Jansen. The island beast gets Maldonado to fly out to center to end the inning.
With Kenley in the game is safe as he gets Espinosa to ground out, retires Yong on a grounder as well. Kenley whiffs Pennington for the final out. The Dodgers win 6-2!
The Dodgers will take off for San Diego for the weekend as Alex Wood gets the start on Friday evening. The Dodgers pick up a half game on the idle Colorado and a full game on the Dbacks. The boys in blue now lead Colorado by 6 games and Arizona by 2.5.
Kershaw pitching line : 7 IP 3 H 1 R 0 ER 2 BB 12K – ERA 2.32