Dodgers vs. Cubs: On a mission to earn All-Star start, Clayton Kershaw gets the win

Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw pitches during the first inning against the Chicago Cubs on July 9, 2022.
The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw pitched a season-high 7⅔ innings, striking out 10 and giving up one earned run in a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday night.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Dodgers veteran left-hander Clayton Kershaw dominates over 7⅔ innings, striking out 10 and giving up one earned run in a 4-2 victory over the Cubs.

Clayton Kershaw makes emphatic case for All-Star spot, pitches Dodgers past Cubs

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts campaigned on his pitcher’s behalf before the game. His teammates endorsed his credentials in the clubhouse afterward.

But on Saturday night, in the Dodgers’ 4-2 win over the Chicago Cubs, the biggest boost to Clayton Kershaw’s All-Star Game candidacy came from what the 34-year-old left-hander did on the mound.

In 7⅔ stellar innings, Kershaw gave up only two runs, one earned.

Dotting his fastball and dominating with his slider, he had twice as many strikeouts (10) as hits surrendered (five).

And in front of 45,198 at Dodger Stadium, he continued his dazzling if interrupted season, lowering his earned-run average to a sparkling 2.40 after his longest start of the year.

“When he’s healthy, he’s an All-Star,” Roberts said. “He’s one of the best in baseball.”

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Final: Dodgers defeat the Cubs 4-2 behind inspiring effort by Clayton Kershaw

There was no Craig Kimbrel drama tonight.

Despite walking a batter, the Dodgers closer picked up the save to complete the Dodgers 4-2 win over the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers have won six in a row and are 55-29 on the season.

Final: Dodgers 4, Cubs 2


Clayton Kershaw receives standing ovation after season-long start

Clayton Kershaw almost got through eight innings, but was pulled with two outs after a ground ball got past Max Muncy with two outs.

Kershaw received a standing ovation as he left the mound, then watched from the dugout as Jake Lamb made a running catch in left field to end the inning.

Kershaw’s final line: 7.2 innings, 2 runs (1 earned), 5 hits, 10 strikeouts.

His ERA is 2.40, fifth-best among NL starters with at least 60 innings pitched.

Mid 8th: Dodgers lead 4-2


Freddie Freeman gives Dodgers their first lead in the seventh inning

Another Dodgers All-Star candidate has delivered.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh, Freddie Freeman came through with a two-run go-ahead single, floating a soft line drive into shallow right field to give the Dodgers their first lead of the night.

Bottom 7th: Dodgers lead 4-2


Jake Lamb ties it up again with solo home run

The Cubs lead did not last long.

In the bottom of the seventh, Jake Lamb crushed a solo home run to center field, his second blast in as many nights.

Bottom 7th: Tied 2-2


Cubs back in front on unearned run in seventh

After a leadoff double, successful challenge and throwing error by Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner, the Cubs are back in front.

Patrick Wisdom got aboard to begin the seventh, lining a double into right off of Clayton Kershaw.

Wisdom then stole third — initially ruled out, the call was overturned on review after the Cubs challenged — and scored on a grounder to Turner, whose throw to the plate skipped away from catcher Austin Barnes.

It was an unearned run.

Kershaw got through the rest of the inning unscathed. At 88 pitches, it looks like he’ll get the chance to pitch into the eighth for the first time this season.

Mid 7th: Cubs lead 2-1


Will Smith ties game in the sixth with two-out RBI single

A night after producing a game-winning walk-off hit, Will Smith singled home the tying run in the sixth inning.

After Trea Turner doubled, Smith lined a two-out single back up the middle, the ball deflecting off relief pitcher Scott Effross’ glove and into center field.

End 6th: Tied 1-1


Cubs on board first, but Kershaw limits damage

After cruising through the first four innings, Clayton Kershaw had to do damage control in the fifth.

Seiya Suzuki hit a leadoff single. Nico Hoerner followed with a double.

The Cubs, however, could only get one run out of it on a Yan Gomes sacrifice fly.

It’s still more than the Dodgers have produced so far, with their lineup off to another slow start against Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman.

Mid 5th: Cubs lead 1-0


In final outing before All-Star Game announcement, Clayton Kershaw starts strong

In what is his last chance to solidify his All-Star Game candidacy before full rosters are revealed Sunday, Clayton Kershaw has begun his start against Cubs with four impressive innings.

After striking out the side in the first, Kershaw easily navigated a leadoff single in the second, striking out another batter before dialing up an inning-ending double-play.

That was the only hit he gave up through four innings, and he’d struck out seven. The Dodgers, however, haven’t gotten to Marcus Stroman and the game is scoreless headed to the fifth inning.

Prior to the game, manager Dave Roberts said Kershaw is not only worthy of an All-Star Game selection — despite missing a month earlier this season with a back injury — but is deserving of starting the game at Dodger Stadium, as well, a decision that will be made by Brian Snitker, the manager of the reigning NL champion Atlanta Braves.

“I know that Brian is a fan of the game and understands the fan bases, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Clayton is named a starter and started the game,” Roberts said, adding: “I’d be crazy not to think that Clayton should be named the starter.”

Early on, Kershaw’s performance is only backing that up.

Through 4: No score


Dodgers lineup behind Clayton Kershaw is exactly as expected

No surprises in the Dodgers lineup behind Clayton Kershaw on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.

From the bottom up, Austin Barnes is Kershaw’s catcher as usual, batting ninth. Cody Bellinger, barely batting .200, is eighth.

Gavin Lux, who has been hot lately, is batting seventh and playing second base. Jake Lamb, another left-handed hitter against Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman, is batting sixth and playing left field.

Third baseman Max Muncy is batting fifth, the first of four consecutive left-handed batters, and right-handed Will Smith is batting fourth as the designated hitter.

The top three in the lineup as per usual: All-Stars Mookie Betts and Trea Turner bat one, two, and Freddie Freeman is batting third.


Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts and shortstop Trea Turner are voted All-Star starters

It’s official. Mookie Betts and Trea Turner of the Dodgers and Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani of the Angels are headed to the MLB All-Star Game on July 19 at Dodger Stadium as starters.

“The first is always the most special, but every All-Star Game is special,” Betts said Friday before the Dodgers’ game against the Chicago Cubs.

Trout and Betts were among the top-three vote-getters among outfielders in their respective leagues. The Midsummer Classic will be Trout’s first since 2019 — the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the 2020 event, and a right calf strain kept him out for most of last season.

“I always enjoy going and taking the field with the best,” Trout told reporters in Baltimore, where the Angels were in the middle of a series against the Orioles.

Ohtani pulled ahead of the Houston Astros’ Yordan Álvarez in the race for starting American League designated hitter. He will be just the second Japanese-born player to start multiple All-Star Games — the other is Ichiro Suzuki.

“I had fun last year, so I’m looking forward to having some more fun,” Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. Asked about being joined by Trout at the All-Star Game this year, Ohtani joked, “I’ll just follow him around.”

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Dodgers top Cubs on Tyler Anderson’s home plate block and Will Smith’s walk-off knock

Most comebacks begin when a runner crosses the plate.

On Friday night, the Dodgers’ late-game rally against the Chicago Cubs was sparked after their pitcher blocked it.

Once down by three runs, the Dodgers completed a 4-3 victory in walk-off fashion in front of 44,158 at Chavez Ravine, winning their fifth consecutive game on Will Smith’s RBI single in the bottom of the 10th.

And if not for Tyler Anderson’s block of home plate roughly an hour earlier, when he absorbed a lowered shoulder from Cubs baserunner Ian Happ in the sixth inning, it might never have happened.

The Cubs were already leading 1-0 when Happ bounced a two-run double up the left-field line earlier in the sixth, extending the visitors’ lead on a night when the Dodgers’ offense started slowly against right-hander Keegan Thompson.

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