The Dodgers rode another strong outing from Clayton Kershaw and some timely hitting by Jamey Carroll to their fourth win in five games against the Padres. Just like Saturday in San Diego, the Dodgers came away with a 4-1 win.
Kershaw was brilliant for his third straight start, allowing just one run while pitching into the eighth inning. Since the worst start of his young career, on May 4, Kershaw has won three straight starts, allowing just two runs in 22 1/3 innings. Kershaw, who threw 106 pitches tonight, left no doubt as to who should start the opening game of the road trip at Wrigley Field next Tuesday.
The Dodgers have an off day Monday, an opportunity to skip the fifth starter slot in the rotation. Before the game, manager Joe Torre said unless Kershaw and Chad Billingsley were especially taxed tonight and tomorrow, they would start the first two games in Chicago on regular rest. "Right now I'm looking to keep [Kershaw] on his day, but if he has to work really hard and we take him deep, we may have to rethink it," Torre said. If a fifth starter is needed, Torre said the options would be Carlos Monasterios and Ramon Ortiz.
Jamey Carroll drove in the first Dodger run with a sacrifice fly in the second inning, and added two more seeing-eye singles, the last one driving in a run in the sixth. Aside from Carroll, every other non-pitching Dodger starter got one hit, including Russell Martin, who doubled in the seventh inning to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games. It is the longest hitting streak by a Dodger since Orlando Hudson's 17-game streak last season.
In the demon exorcism department, Jonathan Broxton picked up his eighth save, striking out Matt Stairs, his playoff nemesis of the last two seasons, to end the game.
The Dodgers begin interleague play tomorrow, beginning a series with Detroit. Chad Billingsley will start for the Dodgers, opposed by Dontrelle Willis of the Tigers.
WP - Clayton Kershaw (4-2): 7 1/3 IP, 7 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
LP - Kevin Correia (4-4): 6 IP, 7 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts
Sv - Jonathan Broxton (8): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 strikeout