Dodgers’ batters make Zack Greinke pay this time in 7-1 win over Diamondbacks

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Clayton Kershaw fell short in his bid for the 16th shutout and 25th complete game of his distinguished career Friday when the Arizona Diamondbacks nicked the Dodgers left-hander for a meaningless run in the ninth inning.

That hardly detracted from another evening of dominance. Kershaw held up his end of a marquee pitching matchup with Arizona ace Zack Greinke by allowing that lone run and four hits in 8 1/3 innings, striking out eight — six looking — and walking one in a 7-1 victory in Dodger Stadium.

Greinke, the former Dodgers right-hander who signed a $206.5-million deal with Arizona before last season, labored for much of a five-inning outing in which he gave up five runs and 10 hits, struck out four and walked three.


Kershaw breezed through eight innings, allowing two singles while dotting 94-mph fastballs on the corners, dropping his looping curves from the shoulders to the knees of batters, keeping the Diamondbacks off balance with his sharp slider and even mixing in a few changeups.

“When you’ve got Clayton Kershaw on the mound, hitting both sides of the plate with a different mix,” manager Dave Roberts said, “he’s tough.”

Kershaw needed only 87 pitches to get through eight innings before Chris Iannetta led off the ninth with a pinch-hit single to left. Kershaw struck out A.J. Pollock looking, but Chris Owings lined a double to the gap in right-center that scored Iannetta from first and knocked Kershaw out of the game. Pedro Baez, activated off the disabled list earlier Friday, got the final two outs.

That last hit probably bothered Kershaw the most; the first was almost disastrous for the Dodgers.

Owings whistled a 101-mph line drive that appeared to pass just by Kershaw’s right ear in the fourth inning, giving the three-time Cy Young Award winner and the team that relies so heavily on him a considerable scare.

“You know what? It didn’t give me too much of a scare because from the side, I didn’t see how close it was and couldn’t appreciate it,” Roberts said. “I think if I would have been behind home plate it probably would have stopped my heart.”


How close did the liner come to Kershaw’s head?

“I don’t know about my head, but it skimmed my arm a little bit,” Kershaw said. “So, pretty close, I guess.”

Paul Goldschmidt followed Owings’ hit with a walk, and both runners advanced on Kershaw’s wild pitch. Kershaw recovered to strike out Yasmany Tomas looking with a fastball on the outside corner and got Brandon Drury to ground out to third to end the inning.

Kershaw, who retired the side in order in six of his eight full innings, is 9-0 with a 0.47 earned-run average in 11 home starts since last May 1, allowing four earned runs in 76 1/3 innings, striking out 86 and walking five.

“I hope I can pitch the same no matter where it is,” he said. “That said, it’s a pretty good place to pitch, and I’m pretty comfortable here.”

The Dodgers opened the week by scoring four runs and going one for 24 with runners in scoring position while losing two of three games to the Chicago Cubs.

They failed to cash in on their first scoring opportunity Friday night, when Kershaw bounced into a bases-loaded double play to end the second. They did not squander their second, third and fourth chances, going four for nine with runners in scoring position in the game.


Consecutive singles by Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Adrian Gonzalez and Logan Forsythe scored two runs in the third. Turner lined a two-out, two-run double to left in the fourth. Forsythe scored on Yasiel Puig’s sacrifice fly in the fifth, and Andrew Toles hit a two-run homer to center in the eighth to make it 7-0.

Follow Mike DiGiovanna on Twitter @MikeDiGiovanna