Clayton Kershaw is a stopper again as Dodgers clear Angels to end skid

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 20, 2023: Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) pitches against the Angels in the first inning at Angel Stadium on June 20, 2023 in Anaheim, California.  (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)
Left-hander Clayton Kershaw pitched seven scoreless innings in the Dodgers’ 2-0 win over the Angels on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium. He picked up the win, improving to 9-4 on the season. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

This season has been a long farewell to arms for the Dodgers, who lost Tony Gonsolin to a sprained left ankle and Ryan Pepiot to a left oblique strain in March, Dustin May to a serious forward injury. arm and Julio Urías to a left hamstring strain in mid-May, and Noah Syndergaard and his unsightly 7.16 ERA to a blister in early June.

The only constant in this group of calamities, the only pitcher not to miss a start through a haze of injury and inefficiency, is the 35-year-old left-hander with a recalcitrant lower back and an elbow that has him dropped in 2021, causing him to miss three months of this season.

Clayton Kershaw took to the Angel Stadium mound on Tuesday night with the Dodgers reeling from a lopsided three-game weekend sweep at the hands of the San Francisco Giants, and the three-time League Cy Young Award winner National did what he has done so often, twirling a gem when his team needed it most.

Kershaw pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing five hits, striking out five and walking two, and escaped a heartbreaking no-out second and third in the seventh to lead the Dodgers to a 2-0 win in front of a box office crowd. closed 44,703 in Game 1 of a two-game Freeway series.

“It’s hard for me to earn more respect for Clayton, but given the state of our roster, definitely the starting pitcher… right now he’s the only one up since day one,” the manager said. of the Dave Roberts Dodgers. “So for him to not only achieve that, but accept responsibility, but not put pressure on himself, that’s a skill. The way he approaches things… he’s so consistent, and I can’t imagine where we would be without him.

Angels southpaw Reid Detmers tied Kershaw with seven scoreless innings, allowing two hits, striking out eight and walking one, but the Dodgers grouped together four hits to twice score Angels reliever Chris Devenski (3-2 ) at the top of the eighth .

Miguel Rojas hit a one-out double to left field and scored on a Michael Busch single that nasty jumped over the head of Angels first baseman Kevin Padlo for a 1-0 lead. Freddie Freeman hit a single to left center two out, moving Busch up to third, and Will Smith hit a single to left to make it 2-0.

“When I got the hit, Padlo said, ‘Did you kick the dirt and put holes in here? said Freeman. “I wish I could take credit for it, but it was a huge leap forward. Glad it happened to us.

Dodgers left-hander Caleb Ferguson retired the team in order in the bottom of the eighth, knocking out Shohei Ohtani, baseball’s hottest hitter, swinging on a 97 mph fastball and Mike Trout staring at a 96 fastball mph. Evan Phillips threw a one-two-three ninth with two strikeouts for his eighth save.

Kershaw (9-4) took a huge break in the fourth when an apparent Angels run was called off by a replay review that overturned a safe call to the plate, but he needed no help to get out of a difficult situation in the seventh. .

The Angels' Brandon Drury is tagged at home by Dodgers wide receiver Will Smith.
Brandon Drury of the Angels is pulled at home by Dodgers catcher Will Smith in the fourth inning. Drury was initially called safe, but it was overruled after a replay. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

Brandon Drury started the inning with a single and finished third on Hunter Renfroe’s double to the right. Kershaw, with the infield shallow but not all the way, pushed Padlo to a stop at shortstop, runners holding, and outed Chad Wallach with a full-count slider.

Luis Rengifo walked on a full pitch to load the bases, but No. 9 hitter Andrew Velasquez, swinging on the first pitch, fell short on Kershaw’s 103rd pitch to end the inning.

“If one person is going to get away with it, you feel like it’s going to be Kersh,” Freeman said. “He continues to do so, year after year. It’s absolutely amazing. When we needed him most, he did it again. He’s been doing this for the Dodgers since 2008, and we needed him 15 years later to do it again.

Six of Kershaw’s wins this season, including four of his last five starts, have come after losses. Kershaw ended the Dodgers’ four-game slippage with seven shutout innings in a 6-0 win at Cincinnati on June 8, and the Dodgers had lost 10 of 14 games entering Tuesday.

Kershaw, who improved to 10-2 with a 1.99 ERA in 16 career starts against the Angels, held them without a hit Tuesday before Drury’s two-out single in the fourth inning.

Renfroe followed with a brace that jumped the wall to left center, and Angels third baseman coach Bill Haselman waved the heavy-legged Drury in.

Dodgers center fielder James Outman shot Rojas, whose throw bounced to first base at home plate. Smith, the Dodgers catcher, made a nice backhand scoop and rushed to Drury, tagging the runner in the chest as Drury reached for the plate with his right hand.

Plate umpire Sean Barber ruled Drury safe and sound, but after a lengthy replay, the call was overturned, erasing a run off the board for the Angels and ending the inning.

“I thought it was one of those games where any call made was going to hold,” Freeman said. “I think everyone on the pitch thought it was going to hold. But it was a great stint from James to Miggy and a hell of a game from Will, the pick and the back dive. I didn’t know which direction it was going to go. From my point of view, I thought he was out, but I thought that wouldn’t be enough evidence to cancel.

“Glad they did.”

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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