Texas Rangers get to Clayton Kershaw, beat Dodgers 5-3

Clayton Kershaw

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw tips his hat down after giving up a two-run home run to Texas Rangers’ Joey Gallo during the third inning on Wednesday.

(Mark J. Terrill / AP)

KEY MOMENT: The Dodgers trailed, 4-0, after five innings. They scored three runs in the sixth — two on a home run from Scott Van Slyke, one on a single from pinch-hitter extraordinaire Alex Guerrero — and they had the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base with one out. But the Rangers called on left-hander Sam Freeman, their third pitcher of the inning, and he silenced the Dodgers by retiring two of their most productive hitters, striking out Joc Pederson and getting Adrian Gonzalez to ground out.

AT THE PLATE: Texas rookie slugger Joey Gallo hit his fifth home run, this one a 439-foot shot off Clayton Kershaw that landed deep into the right-field bleachers. The Dodgers activated Van Slyke before the game and, in his first at-bat since May 30, he doubled. He also hit a home run, his first since May 11. Guerrero’s hit boosted his average as a pinch-hitter to .368 (7 for 19); he is batting .265 in all other situations.

ON THE MOUND: For the first time in 31 home starts, Kershaw gave up more than three runs — the second-longest streak in the modern era, according to Elias Sports. Kershaw gave up four runs — three earned — in six innings. He struck out 10 and walked one. In his last three starts, he has walked five and struck out 32. Kershaw is 5-4 with a 3.29 earned-run average.

EXTRA BASES: Yasiel Puig led off for the first time this season, the seventh player to bat first for the Dodgers this year. The others: Jimmy Rollins, Joc Pederson, Darwin Barney, Chris Heisey, Enrique Hernandez and Justin Turner. Manager Don Mattingly would not say whether Puig would remain atop the lineup. … The Dodgers opened a roster spot for Van Slyke by putting reliever Chris Hatcher on the disabled list because of a strained oblique. Hatcher said he felt a “twinge” when he last pitched Sunday and the discomfort lingered; he said the Dodgers sent him for an MRI examination Wednesday.


UP NEXT: Zack Greinke (5-2, 1.95) faces the Rangers’ Anthony Ranaudo (0-1, 32.40) on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. at Dodger Stadium. TV: SportsNet LA. Radio: 570, 1020.