There had been a lot of hand-wringing over Kershaw's start this season -- not that his 2-3 record and 4.32 ERA were completely terrible, they just didn’t look proper sitting on his mantel next to his Cy Young and MVP trophies.
If he had been just slightly off earlier in the season, Tuesday he was absolutely right on. He retired the first 12 consecutive Braves in order, did not walk a batter and held Atlanta to just four hits.
Still, he was locked in a scoreless pitching duel with Braves right-hander Julio Teheran (4-2) until the Dodgers exploded for six runs in the fourth.
Howie Kendrick doubled in the first run, and after an intentional walk to Gonzalez, Justin Turner singled in Kendrick. Andre Ethier continued his hot hitting, doubling in two more, A.J. Ellis doubled in Ethier and Kershaw singled in his battery mate.
It was 6-0 Dodgers -- the most runs they had scored in one inning this season -- and that rarest of recent animals, a rout.
Gonzalez made it more so in the fifth when he followed a Kendrick single with a two-run homer. That gave him 1,001 RBI for his career. It was his first home run since May 5 in Milwaukee and 10th on the season.
J.P. Howell and Sergio Santos each threw one scoreless inning to preserve the shutout.
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