4:10 PM ET, June 29, 2014
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
Clayton Kershaw K's 13 in Cards win; career-best scoreless streak at 28
LOS ANGELES -- After Clayton Kershaw completed a spectacular month on the mound with yet another dominant victory, he struggled to muster much excitement about his performance or even the Los Angeles Dodgers' leap to the top of the standings.
Kershaw knows it's only June. But what a month it's been for the Dodgers and their incredible left-hander.
No Gloom in June
Clayton Kershaw finishes June 6-0 with an 0.82 ERA and 61 strikeouts. He's the fourth pitcher in MLB history to have a 6-0 record, sub-1.00 ERA and at least 50 strikeouts in a calendar month.
6-0, Sub-1 ERA and 50 K in Calendar Month
|June 2014||Clayton Kershaw|
|June 2011||Justin Verlander|
|April 2000||Randy Johnson|
|June 1995||Hideo Nomo|
|-- Source: ESPN Stats & Information|
Kershaw (9-2) extended his career-best scoreless streak to 28 innings in his first home start since throwing his first no-hitter June 18 against Colorado. He went 6-0 with an 0.82 ERA in June, yielding four runs in 44 innings and striking out 61.
"More importantly, we've just won every game," Kershaw said. "We're on a good run. In a long season, we'll go on a bunch of runs. We've just got to make sure the lowest points aren't as low."
The Dodgers have had nothing but high points lately: With 12 wins in 16 games, Los Angeles (47-37) has pulled virtually even with the slumping Giants (46-36) atop the NL West. The Dodgers were 9½ games behind San Francisco on June 8, but erased the entire deficit in three weeks.
"When we were struggling early, I think everyone knew in the back of their minds that we could turn it around," Kershaw said. "Coming back and tying up the Giants in a month is not something we expected, just like we didn't expect to go 42-8 last year, but we have that ability."
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Kershaw's bid for back-to-back home no-hitters lasted exactly two pitches before Matt Carpenter lined a single to left. Although he walked two and retired the side in order just once, Kershaw never allowed a runner to reach third base while getting at least one strikeout in each inning.
Kershaw still finished strong by striking out pinch hitter Jon Jay and Carpenter to end the seventh, earning a loud standing ovation from the Dodger Stadium crowd.
He's been the best pitcher in the world (lately)," said Matt Kemp, who drove in the Dodgers' first run. "You get a day off from your legs sometimes when he's pitching, because you don't have to run too much (in the field)."
The Dodgers took three of four from St. Louis in a rematch of last season's NL championship series. Ethier capped Los Angeles' four-run fifth inning with a shot to right off Shelby Miller (7-7) for his first homer since May 27.
Carpenter had three hits for the Cardinals, who were shut out twice in the four-game series.
"We had a couple of guys on with leadoff hits, and the next thing you know, they're still standing on the bag they started on," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "A couple of times we had guys in scoring position, but (Kershaw) just wasn't giving us much. He's locked in."
Visions of Cy Young
Kershaw has won each of his past six starts, allowing no more than two ER and striking out at least seven batters each game. The only Dodgers with a longer streak were Sandy Koufax and Fernando Valenzuela -- each of whom won the Cy Young.
Most Consecutive Starts Won with 2 ER, 7 K
Since ER Became Official in 1912
Since ER Became Official in 1912
|Date||Pitcher||# of Starts|
|* Won Cy Young|
Indeed, St. Louis had little chance on another vintage day for Kershaw, who hasn't allowed a run since June 13. His 28-inning scoreless streak is the fifth-longest in franchise history, trailing only a who's-who of Dodgers luminaries: Orel Hershiser, Don Drysdale, Don Sutton and Sandy Koufax. Kershaw has the longest streak since Hershiser's record 59-inning run in 1988.
"It's tough," Miller said of his pitching matchup. "Knowing what he's capable of and doing what he's doing, you know you've got to do the same thing. It's just frustrating when you give up runs and give up those big innings. You give them a lot of momentum."
Miller gave up seven hits and six runs in five innings for St. Louis, which is among the few teams with a history of success against Kershaw. The two-time Cy Young winner entered the game just 4-5 with a 3.75 ERA against the Cardinals.
Adrian Gonzalez got the Dodgers' first hit in the fourth inning by bunting into the wide-open space near third base created by the Cardinals' severe defensive shift. After Kemp drove in Yasiel Puig, Gonzalez scored on Juan Uribe's sacrifice fly.
Puig hustled for a two-out double in the fifth, and Gonzalez drove him in. After Kemp doubled, Ethier connected for just his fourth homer of the season, setting off a dance party in the Dodgers' dugout when he returned.
Dodgers starters have walked two or fewer batters in 33 straight games, the longest NL streak in a century. ... Uribe committed an error in the ninth, ending the Dodgers' streak at nine errorless games, their longest in a decade. ... Dodgers SS Hanley Ramirez sat out with tightness in his left calf, one day after returning to the lineup from a four-game absence with a sore right shoulder. Manager Don Mattingly said Ramirez might be headed to the disabled list. ... The Cardinals recalled RHP Jorge Rondon from Triple-A Memphis on Saturday, and he made his major league debut Sunday, pitching a hitless seventh inning.
Regular Season Series
|4th||M Kemp singled to center, Y Puig scored, A Gonzalez to second, A Gonzalez to third advancing on throw.||0||1|
|4th||J Uribe hit sacrifice fly to center, A Gonzalez scored.||0||2|
|5th||A Gonzalez singled to center, Y Puig scored.||0||3|
|5th||A Ethier homered to right (402 feet), A Gonzalez and M Kemp scored.||0||6|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA|
|Attendance||47,739 (85.2% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||80 degrees, sunny|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Chad Fairchild, First Base - Vic Carapazza, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Mike Everitt|
Clayton Kershaw has won each of his last six starts, allowing no more than 2 ER and striking out at least 7 batters each game. The only Dodgers with a longer streak were Sandy Koufax and Fernando Valenzuela - each of whom won the Cy Young.[+]
Most Consecutive Starts Won with 2 ER and 7 K - Dodgers Since ER Became Official in 1912
The Cardinals were 0-of-11 with 10 K against his breaking pitches; all with 2 strikes Since allowing 7 ER to the Diamondbacks May 17, hitters are 4-of-82 with 63 strikeouts against his breaking ball on 2 strikes 11 of 21 swings against his breaking balls resulted in swings-and-misses. Opposing hitters swing and miss at 49.6% of the Kershaw breaking ball they swing against, the highest rate in the MLB (min. 10 starts)
Kershaw finishes June 6-0 with a 0.82 ERA and 61 strikeouts. He is the 4th pitcher in MLB history to have a 6-0 record with a sub-1 ERA and at least 50 strikeouts in a calendar month[+]
ESPN Stats & Information