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Clayton Kershaw day by day: A rarity against the Giants

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Kershaw allowed 4 runs in this start; in his other 5 starts in 2011 against SF he allowed 2 runs, total

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Clayton Kershaw has one career start on May 18, which came nine years ago today at Dodger Stadium against the Giants.

May 18, 2011 was a Wednesday, the start of an ever so brief two-game series for the Dodgers at home against San Francisco. Kershaw and Matt Cain opened things up on the mound, but neither figured in the decision.

Three straight singles led to a run off Kershaw in the third inning, then four straight singles in the fourth inning plated three more runs for San Francisco. Kershaw did not allow five straight singles in the fifth inning, but needing offense he was pinch hit for in the bottom of the frame.

From my game recap:

Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, with Clayton Kershaw at 85 pitches, having already given up four runs and seven hits and a walk in a span of nine batters, Mattingly faced a decision. The bases were loaded with one out, and Kershaw was due up. Even with just a four-man bullpen, it’s hard to argue with hitting for Kershaw in that spot, which is what Mattingly did.

Only Mattingly chose Juan Castro as his pinch-hitter. “He was two for three, with a ribbie [off Matt Cain],” Mattingly reasoned.

Castro flew out softly to center field, and Jamey Carroll grounded out, ending the threat.

Kershaw allowed four runs in his five innings, one of only five times in 47 starts against San Francisco he allowed at least four runs.

The Dodgers rallied to tie things up in the eighth inning, but a Cody Ross three-run home run off Lance Cormier decided things in the ninth inning, in favor of the Giants.

The outing: 5 IP, 7 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

Up next: Another single-start day, and a great one