After resting the regulars on Friday, the Dodgers inserted nearly all their starters into the lineup with ace Clayton Kershaw on the mound. The game followed the Kershaw script, as the NL Cy Young favorite dominated opposing batters for seven innings before the Dodgers bullpen closed the door on a 4-0 shutout of the San Diego Padres.
While it seemed the Dodgers could break the game open before Kershaw stepped on the mound, Mark Ellis found himself looking at strike three with the bases loaded in the first inning.
The two teams traded scoreless frames before A.J. Ellis cracked things open in the 4th inning with a 2-run home run to left field that scored Mark Ellis.
That would prove to be more than enough for the Dodgers, especially with Kershaw on the mound, but Yasiel Puig decided to get in on the fun with an incredibly long home run to dead center in the 7th inning. The Dodgers estimated the home run at 457 feet.
Following Puig's blast, Kershaw would take the mound to record three more outs before calling it a night. Only 1 of the final 12 batters Kershaw faced would reach base. The seven scoreless innings lowered his ERA to 1.88 on the season over 230 full innings of work.
It was an effortless outing for the 25-year-old Kershaw, who threw just 99 pitches while helping his own cause at the plate by reaching base a pair of times, before the bullpen made an appearance. But you'd figure that's the Dodgers just playing it safe with their ace.
Brian Wilson closed the door for Los Angeles, taking care of San Diego's better hitters in Chase Headley, Jedd Gyorko and Jesus Guzman in a harmless 9th inning. Wilson induced a grounder and two more strikeouts in his one inning of work.
Home runs: A.J. Ellis (9), Yasiel Puig (18)
WP - Clayton Kershaw (15-9): 7 IP, 3 hits, 2 walks, 10 strikeouts
LP - Burch Smith (1-2): 6 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs, 5 walks, 6 strikeouts