LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw had the audacity to walk a batter on Saturday, but that was one of just three runners allowed to reach base in the Dodgers' 3-1 win over the Angels on Saturday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.
Kershaw was pitching on eight days rest, with his last outing on July 23. On Saturday, he was worth the wait.
Kershaw struck out seven but allowed only two hits in his eight scoreless innings, running his consecutive scoreless inning streak to 37. He's the first pitcher to have two scoreless streaks of at least 35 innings dating back to at least 1974, per STATS LLC.
You might have to go back as far as 43 years to find the last time that happened.
Kershaw: 35 straight scoreless innings. Best I can tell, the last pitcher to have 2 scoreless streaks of 35+ innings was Luis Tiant, '68/'72— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) August 1, 2015
Kershaw has four straight starts of at least eight innings with no runs allowed, the longest streak by a Dodgers pitcher since Orel Hershier had six straight in his record 59-inning streak in 1988.
At the end of the last inning in which Kershaw allowed a run (on July 3), Kershaw's ERA was 3.16. After Saturday's win, he's at 2.37.
If there was one way to encapsulate Kershaw's performance on Saturday into one single moveable picture, it came in the first inning, with the first-ever matchup of reigning MVPs, against Mike Trout.
MVP-on-MVP crime. pic.twitter.com/aZTw1Rvcsv— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) August 1, 2015
Andrew Heaney was nearly as good, putting up zeroes until the sixth inning.
The Dodgers opened the frame with singles by Howie Kendrick and Adrian Gonzalez to put runners at the corners. Scott Van Slyke followed with a fly ball to the warning track in left field. Had he not hit it off the end of the bat, the ball might have been a home run. Instead, it was a sacrifice fly and a precious run for the Dodgers.
Two batters later, that one-run lead became even more insurmountable when Yasmani Grandal launched a two-run shot over the center field wall for a 3-0 lead.
For a second straight game, Kenley Jansen struggled in the ninth. He allowed a hit and a walk to open the inning, but he recovered to strikeout Johnny Giovatella and Trout. Albert Pujols blooped a single to left to put the Angels on the board, buy Erick Aybar popped out to end it.
The Dodgers have now won three straight games, and have beaten the Angels five straight times for the first time ever.
Home run: Yasmani Grandal (15)
WP - Clayton Kershaw (9-6): 8 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
LP - Andrew Heaney (5-1): 5⅓ IP, 4 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (19): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts