LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw turned in a vintage performance, and the Dodgers offense was unhindered in an 8-0 whitewash of the Braves on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. The win was the Dodgers' second straight win, and seventh straight home win over the Braves (including playoffs).
Before the game, manager Don Mattingly thought Kershaw pitched much better than his 4.32 ERA showed.
"I see him as the same [as 2014]. His stuff is still the same. Early on last year it took a little while to see with the injury, and he had the Arizona game. It seemed like he caught fire and got rolling," Mattingly recalled. "This year he hasn't had injury. He's thrown the ball well, and has had a little different kind of luck."
There was none of that different kind of luck on Tuesday. Kershaw didn't allow a runner to reach base until Nick Markakis singled to lead off the fifth inning. By then the Dodgers had a 6-0 lead.
It was cruise mode for Kershaw the rest of the way. He finished with 10 strikeouts and no walks, the ninth career game for Kershaw with at least 10 strikeouts and no walks, and first this year.
After four straight starts getting removed in the middle of an inning, Kershaw went out on his terms, pitching seven clean innings, allowing only four hits, throwing 101 pitches.
"I feel like I've defended him a lot," Mattingly said of Kershaw, after the game, "but he doesn't need defending."
The Dodgers offense came alive with a six-run fourth inning, their highest tally in a single inning this season. Adrian Gonzalez had two hits and a home run, driving in two, giving him 1,001 career RBI.
Every Dodgers starter had at least one hit, including Kershaw, who contributed an RBI single to the mix.
The Dodgers go for the sweep on Wednesday night, with Zack Greinke on the mound, and quite likely Juan Uribe in the first base dugout. Alex Wood starts for Atlanta.
WP - Clayton Kershaw (3-3): 7 IP, 4 hits, 10 strikeouts
LP - Julio Teheran (4-2): 4⅓ IP, 10 hits, 8 runs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout