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Clayton Kershaw pitches eight strong innings in win over Giants

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw pitching well against the San Francisco Giants is not a new story but he did it a slightly different way in today’s 3-1 win at Dodger Stadium.

Kershaw gave up just one run in his eight-inning start and got strong support from his battery mate’s bat and his infield gloves and arms to win his 18th game of the season.

“He was really good today,” said manager Dave Roberts said, “six punch, no walks, got the grounder for the double play when he needed it, defense played well.”

Yasmani Grandal drove in all three runs with a sacrifice fly and a two-run homer. Kershaw gave up eight hits but he was able to pitch efficient innings due to four double plays turned behind him.

The four double plays behind Kershaw is his career high in a game and it matched the Los Angeles Dodger franchise high for a starting pitcher. The last time it was done by a Dodger starting pitcher was by Hyun-jin Ryu on June 12, 2013 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“It kind of worked out, it seemed the balls that hit hard today were on the ground, thankfully guys were standing there to make outs,” Kershaw said after the game, “yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever had that many double plays before.”

“Great defense all the way around, a lot of good plays,” Kershaw said, “you can’t take turning double plays for granted, obviously a lot has to go right, it was big today.”

Kershaw’s last out recorded was his 200th strikeout of the season, his seventh season with 200 or more strikeouts which set a Dodger franchise record.

“I guess the one thing it does mean is that you take pride in your consistency,” Kershaw said, “that’s something I think is really important as a starter is to be out there every fifth day for whole season. I’ve missed time the last two years which is something I don’t really like to do, so more than anything just a little bit of consistency which is cool.”

The Dodgers scored in the second inning when Curtis Granderson singled to right and then Logan Forsythe doubled off the wall to put runners on second and third with no outs. After Chase Utley lined out, Grandal hit a fly ball to left that was just deep enough to score Granderson.

In the fourth inning, with Utley on, Grandal hit a fly ball over the center field wall for a two-run homer and a 3-0 lead for the Dodgers. The last out of the fourth inning was a rarely called fan interference call due to an interaction between Giant right-fielder Hunter Pence and some fans by the retaining wall. The fans definitely reached over the wall and the right call was made after it was reviewed.

After the game, catcher Yasmani Grandal said he wasn’t sitting on first pitch fast ball before he hit his home run.

“I wasn’t, I was just looking for something to hit pretty much, Grandal said, “but I was able to get a ball into the air my first at-bat with almost the same pitch, I just missed it. I didn’t think that ball was going to get out, I definitely didn’t get it all, but it just seemed like it went out today.”

Mac Williamson hit a solo home run in the eighth inning to give the Giants their lone run.

Brandon Morrow came in to pitch the ninth and he was able to record his second save of the season.

Sunday particulars

Home run: Yasmani Grandal (21); Mac Williamson (3)

WP - Clayton Keshaw (18-4): 8 IP, 8 hits, 1 run, 6 strikeouts

LP - Chris Stratton (3-4): 3⅔ IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Sv - Brandon Morrow (2): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts