Even though they continue to lose player after player to the disabled list, the Dodgers still have their pitching staff intact, and more specifically they have a healthy Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers ace gave the team exactly what they needed on Saturday night, pitching his fourth career shutout as the Dodgers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-0 at Dodger Stadium for their third straight win.
Kershaw allowed six hits and no walks on Saturday, while striking out four He has an active streak of 22 consecutive scoreless innings, and since the beginning of last season is 14-2 with a 1.67 ERA in 22 starts at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers took advantage of disastrous Cardinal defense in the bottom of the fourth inning. After Bobby Abreu walked to lead off the inning, Andre Ethier lifted a fly ball down the left field line that Matt Holliday watched fall for a ground rule double, looking like someone running with a piano on his back in less then dogged pursuit of the ball. Adam Kennedy followed with a ground ball to first base that was booted by Matt Carpenter, allowing both runners to score.
Justin Sellers homered in the seventh inning, his first of the season, to widen the Dodgers' lead to 3-0. Then Kershaw followed with a hard hit ball to left field that Holliday failed to catch, that was scored as a double, the first extra-base hit of Kershaw's career. Tony Gwynn Jr. drove home Kershaw with a single to center, then scored himself on a wild pitch for a 5-0 lead. An RBI single by Andre Ethier capped the four-run inning and gave the Dodgers a 6-0 lead.
A.J. Ellis doubled twice to extend his career-high streak to 28 consecutive games reaching base via hit or walk, the longest active streak in the majors. After 10 extra-base hits in 244 major league plate appearances before this year, Ellis now has 11 extra-base hits in 128 PA this season. He is hitting .333/.460/.510 on the season.
Lance Berkman left the game in the third inning after suffering a right knee injury while stretching to receive a throw at first base on a ground out by Justin Sellers. Berkman will be reevaluated in the next 24 hours, but Cardinals minor league first baseman Matt Adams was pulled from his game with Triple A Memphis in the fourth inning on Saturday, and Jennifer Langosch of MLB.com speculated that Adams could be in Los Angeles by Sunday to replace Berkman.
Home Runs: Justin Sellers (1)
WP - Clayton Kershaw (4-1): 9 IP, 6 hits, 4 strikeouts
LP - Jake Westbrook (4-3): 6 1/3 IP, 6 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts