Clayton Kershaw finished with an un-Clayton Kershaw line, but he was arguably better than his last time out when he allowed just a run in 6 2/3 innings while striking out 11. Yes, there was Joey Gallo‘s massive homer, but three of the four runs charged against Kershaw came on either soft grounders, bloops, or A.J. Ellis being unable to find the ball after a strikeout.
But boy that Gallo homer was a thing, and boy was Kershaw not happy about it.
The Dodgers offense started off like it was gonna be the same old story of the last two games, stranding a lead-off double from Yasiel Puig in the first and a lead-off double from Scott Van Slyke in the second. It just felt like they were on their way to a shutout despite the fact that they were giving themselves chances to score.
Fortunately, the offense brought the wood in the sixth inning. Justin Turner lead off with a single, which was promptly followed by a fresh-off-the-DL Van Slyke homer to cut the lead in half. Enrique Hernandez then followed with a double down the line, and he was cashed in by pinch-hitter extraordinaire Alex Guerrero with a single. The rally stopped there, however, leaving the Dodgers one run short of a tie.
J.P. Howell then entered for Kershaw and pitched a scoreless inning in relief, lowering his ERA to 0.47, which seems impossible but is true. Yimi Garcia and Adam Liberatore followed, combining via matchups to throw a shutout inning of their own. So things were going well for the bullpen again, at least before Josh Ravin entered and gave up a homer to the first batter he faced for the second straight appearance, giving the Rangers an insurance run.
Turns out they wouldn’t need it anyway, as the Dodgers would go quietly in the final three innings.
Good news though! The Diamondbacks are only one win away from making the Dodgers a ton better against .500 or better teams!