Excellent pitching by Clayton Kershaw and the bullpen, and Matt Kemp's ability to drive the ball gave the Dodgers a hard fought, extra inning 3-2 win today at Great American Ballpark against the Reds. Kemp drilled a pitch nearly to Kentucky in the fifth inning, for his 21 st home run of the year, and came close to a grand slam to dead center in the 12th inning, flying out to the warning track for a go-ahead sacrifice fly.
Kemp was able to collect the game-winning RBI thanks to a key double by Juan Castro, who entered the game in a double switch one inning before.
Kershaw was brilliant, rebounding nicely from two short, subpar outings (except of course for his very good outing Tuesday in Colorado. I am an idiot). He struck out 11 batters in seven innings, allowing only six baserunners. The two runs he gave up were a result of the first major league home run of Darnell McDonald, who hit a ball into the second deck in left field in the second inning. Kershaw has struck out ten or more batters three times this year, and all three times he has come away with a no-decision.
After Kershaw, the non-eroding Dodger bullpen allowed no runs yet again today, in five innings. Jonathan Broxton, fighting his control, allowed no balls in play in the 12th, walking two and striking out three. Over their last 14 games, the Dodger bullpen has allowed five runs (four earned) in 45.2 innings, for a 0.79 ERA, walking 15 while striking out 50.
The Dodgers are now 4-4 in games lasting 12 innings or longer.
The Dodgers start a series with Arizona at home tomorrow. Randy Wolf opposes Doug Davis tomorrow night. The Dodgers will start their seven-game homestand with no less than a five-game lead in the division and a six-game lead on a playoff spot.
WP - James McDonald (4-3): 1 IP, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts
LP - Francisco Cordero (2-4): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 2 walks
Sv - Jonathan Broxton (29): 1 IP, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts