Clayton Kershaw punctuated his most dominant performance of the season in the only way that made sense: with a strikeout.
For the first time this season, Kershaw (6-6) put together a complete game, propelling the Dodgers to a 5-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. Kershaw, still in the running for the last spot on the National League All-Star team, scattered eight hits over nine innings, striking out a season-high 13 batters in the process. The last time he didn’t give up a run was seven starts ago against the St. Louis Cardinals on June 6.
Offensively, the Dodgers did their damage with the long ball, accumulating all five of their runs off homers in the second and third innings.
Catcher A.J. Ellis got things started with a two-run shot off Philadelphia starter Adam Morgan that brought home shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who doubled earlier in the second. It was Ellis’ first homer of the season, a far cry from the Dodgers’ other catcher, Yasmani Grandal, who has 14 on this season.
With two men on in the third, Rollins smacked a home run to left field, scoring first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and outfielder Joc Pederson. Phillies Manager Pete Mackanin elected to keep Morgan (1-2) in the game after a visit to the mound, and Morgan was able to make it through the fifth inning.
Three Philadelphia relievers combined to give up three hits, but Kershaw’s strong performance was all the Dodgers needed to maintain its lead.
Ellis finished three for four on the night, and he got plenty of help from Rollins (two for three with three RBIs) and outfielder Scott Van Slyke (two for three with a walk). The top of the order struggled, as Yasiel Puig, Howie Kendrick and Justin Turner went 0 for 11 with a walk.
The Dodgers improved to 48-38 with the victory, while the Phillies fell to 29-58, the worst record in the majors. The Dodgers look to take the four-game series Thursday at 7:10 p.m.