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Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw strikes out 15 to complete sweep of Giants, 2-1

Clayton Kershaw

Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws against the Giants at Dodger Stadium on Sept. 2.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Sometimes you dream it up and it actually comes true.

The Dodgers wouldn’t -- couldn’t -- actually come out and say their dream sequence was a three-game sweep of the Giants, but it was understood. The Giants had taken nine of the first 12 games against the Dodgers and entered the series still 3½ games back.

But it all came together for the Dodgers this week with Clayton Kershaw pitching a complete game Wednesday to finish off the sweep. The Dodgers won 2-1 before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 41,648.

The victory gave the Dodgers a season-high 6½ lead over the Giants in the National League West. After losing five consecutive games, they have now won eight of their last nine.

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The Dodgers won Wednesday pretty much like they won the previous night. They got a dominant starting pitching performance and a game-winning home run.

This time Chase Utley provided the power. After the Giants rallied to tie the score, 1-1, with a run in the sixth inning, he hammered a Mike Leake pitch over the center-field wall. It was Utley’s first home run as a Dodger.

Kershaw (12-6) was in complete control. He was constantly ahead of hitters, striking out a career-high 15 batters to help him reach a new season career-high with 251 strikeouts. He walked one and allowed just six hits. He threw a season-high 132 pitches, tying his career high.

The Dodgers gave him an early 1-0 lead in the second when Justin Turner singled and scored on a double by Carl Crawford.

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San Francisco tied in the sixth on Kershaw’s lone walk. Kelby Tomlinson took the walk, stole second and scored on an Angel Pagan single off the glove of Turner at third.

For the second consecutive night, Giants Manager Bruce Bochy was ejected. This time he was unhappy with a called check swing in the eighth inning.

The Giants did manage to make it exciting with a pair of two-out singles by Matt Duffy and Buster Posey. Manager Don Mattingly came to the mound, but left Kershaw in to face Marlon Byrd.

Kershaw made him strikeout victim No. 15 to complete the sweep.

Since the All-Star break, Kershaw is now 6-0 with a 1.01 earned-run average. He has 91 strikeouts to only seven walks in 71 innings.


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