Fireworks, barbeques, hamburgers and Dodger baseball for the win. There’s nothing more patriotic than a Dodger win on Independence Day. So the Dodgers obliged America by defeating the Dbacks 4-3 to take a commanding 3.5 game lead in the NL West. The Dodgers barely hung on after taking a 4-0 lead into the ninth inning as the bullpen almost blew and wasted Kershaw’s beautiful outing. The Snakes scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning but thankfully it was not enough as the Dodgers held on for the win.
Dbacks 3 6 0
Dodgers 4 9 0
Before the bullpen entered the game in the eighth inning Clayton Kershaw was the story. He had dominated the dbacks by tossing seven shutout innings and striking out 11 to help make our fourth of July a memorable one. It almost was one for the record books as Kershaw held the Snakes without a hit into the seventh inning before allowing an infield single to Chris Owings. Kershaw improved his record to 13-2 on the season, lowered his ERA to 2.19 and is leading the National League in wins.
The Dodgers knocked opposing starter Patrick Corbin out of the game by the fifth inning as the southpaw lasted just 4.2 innings after allowing three earned runs on seven hits and striking out eight. Corbin walked two and left with a 3-0 deficit.
The Dodgers scored one in the first inning when Logan Forsythe doubled down the right field line and future all-star Justin Turner’s single off the top of the wall scored him to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. The Dodgers added two more in the bottom of the third when Turner hit his eighth home run of the season to lead off the frame which further cements his all-star vote. By the way, please vote for the guy when you get a chance.
Later in the inning Chris Taylor doubled and then scored when Yasmani Grandal poked a single through the right side of the infield. The Dodgers went up by a 3-0 score. Grandal would add another RBI single in the bottom of the eighth off the Arizona bullpen. Taylor singled and moved to second on a Kike Hernandez grounder. He then stole third and scored on Grandal’s second RBI single to put the Dodgers up 4-0. That fourth run would prove vital as the dbacks mounted a late rally in the last frame.
The Dodgers didn’t need to score many runs because Kershaw was so utterly dominant. Until the seventh inning he had allowed just two base runners on two walks before giving up the little infield dribbler to Owings. His pitch count was high so it seemed unlikely he would do it, but what an incredible performance. Kershaw struck out Brandon Drury three times and Paul Goldschmidt twice and made 117 pitches.
Here’s how Kershaw lost his no-hit bid with one out in the seventh inning. What a cheap way to break up a no-hitter.
The Dodger bullpen took things the rest of the way but had some trouble retiring those pesky Arizona hitters. Luis Avilan began the top of the eighth by retiring the first two snakes. He got Gregor Blanco to ground out and struck out Ray Fuentes. Pedro Baez was called in but gave up a ground-rule double to newly activated A.J. Pollack. Baez then balked Pollack to third, on what was a questionable call. Then David Peralta lined out right back to the box for the third out as Baez snared the liner with some great cat like reflexes.
There was one more scare in the top of the ninth inning. The normally reliable Brandon Morrow gave up a double to Goldschmidt. He got Owings to ground out but Drury’s flare single to left put runners at first and third with one out. The Dodgers called for Kenley Jansen who quickly restored order. Kenley got Chris Iannetta to pop out for the second out. However he served up a three-run shot to Descalso much to our annoyance (his second homer of the season) and the lead was suddenly 4-3. Kenley then walked Jake Lamb (his second walk of the season) and the Dodgers still weren’t out of the woods. Kenley would recover to whiff Chris Herrmann for the final out and the Dodgers win it!
The series continues tomorrow evening as Zack Godley does battle with Alex Wood at 7:10 PM. Before the night is over please go and vote for Turner in the Esurance Final Vote. Vote now, vote often, vote twice. Just get that red headed man to the all-star game please.
Happy fourth everyone!