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Clayton Kershaw day by day: Easy as 1-2-3

3 wins in 3 starts for Kershaw on June 13

Los Angeles Dodgers v Cleveland Indians

The third time was the charm for Clayton Kershaw on June 13, but so were the first and second times. He’s 3-0 in his three starts on this date.

Up first was in 2014, when the Dodgers were home facing the D-backs. This was Kershaw’s MVP season, though at the time he was still four weeks removed from a seven-run clunker in Arizona.

This was his first game against the Diamondbacks since, and he was much better. He scattered eight hits but struck out seven, keeping Arizona at bay. Their only run against Kershaw came in the third inning with doubles by Chris Owings and Aaron Hill.

That was enough to get Kershaw the win, with the Dodgers holding on for a 4-3 victory. It continued an upward trend for Kershaw, noted in my game recap:

Since his blow-up start in Arizona on May 17, during which he allowed seven runs while recording just five outs, Kershaw is 4-1 with a 1.91 ERA in five starts. On the season Kershaw has 71 strikeouts and just eight walks in his 55⅓ innings.

“We knew Kershaw was going to battle, but he seemed to get better as the game went on,” said manager Don Mattingly. “I think he’s been sharp all year long.”

After that run in the third, Kershaw rolled off a 41-inning scoreless streak. His next run allowed was July 10.

In June 13, 2017, the Dodgers were in Cleveland, a matchup of what would be two 100-win teams. The Indians’ big streak (22 straight wins!) would come a few months later, but the Dodgers were in the infancy of a 44-7 stretch that vaulted them into the stratosphere.

Yasiel Puig gave the Dodgers a lead early with a two-run home run, but Cleveland fought back with single runs in the third and fifth innings. That was all Kershaw would allow in his seven innings, retiring his final seven batters faced.

From Ryan Walton’s game recap:

Tuesday was the fourth straight start in which Kershaw has allowed a home run, tying his career-high. It was of the solo variety to Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez in the fifth. It was also the 13th homer Kershaw has allowed in 2017, getting closer to his career-high of 16 in a season back in 2012.

Cody Bellinger took Andrew Miller deep in the eighth inning to give the Dodgers the lead, earning the win for Kershaw.

Kershaw and the Dodgers faced Jon Lester and the Cubs last year on June 13 at Dodger Stadium, and Chicago jumped on Kershaw early for three runs, including solo home runs by Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant.

After that, Chicago didn’t score, and Kershaw got through six innings with eight strikeouts. By then he had a lead, thanks to two-run home runs by Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, and David Freese.

More: Elizabeth Islas’ game recap

That’s three wins in three starts on June 13 for Kershaw, and a 2.70 ERA. Kershaw allowed one, two, then three runs, so if another June 13 start is in the offing he’ll need some support to overcome what will surely be his four runs allowed.

The outings

2014 (W, 6-2): 7 IP, 8 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts

2017 (W, 9-2): 7 IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts

2019 (W, 6-1): 6 IP, 7 hits, 3 runs, 2 hits, 8 strikeouts

Up next: A solo start on June 14