On Sunday, he shut down a potent Los Angeles Angels lineup that leads the league in batting.
Kershaw pitched seven shutout innings, James Loney(notes) hit a two-run homer that was upheld by video review and the Dodgers beat the Angels 5-3 on Sunday night to take two of three in the Freeway Series.
“I thought he was terrific. That’s a huge game,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said of Kershaw. “Two games ago, it was the worst game this year and the last two have been really, very good. He used a lot of offspeed today. I thought he mixed it up really well. This ballclub is tough to not get good swings, but he did a good job.”
Kershaw (4-5) gave up four hits in his longest outing since he beat the Florida Marlins on May 17.
He got into trouble in the fifth and loaded the bases on a walk to Sean Rodriguez(notes), Erick Aybar(notes) fielder’s choice and Chone Figgins’(notes) single. But he turned Bobby Abreu’s(notes) line drive into a double play at home to get Rodriguez out, and then got Torii Hunter(notes) to pop up to Rafael Furcal(notes) to end the inning.
“The kid grew up in a hurry,” Torre said. “He got into a jam and I said to (Rick) Honeycutt, ‘He got himself into this thing, let him get himself out.’ From there on out, he was pretty dominant.”
Lackey (2-3) got into a bases-loaded jam in the fourth and gave up the doubles to Pierre in the fifth and seventh that gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.
Loney’s fourth homer of the season put the Dodgers ahead 4-0 after a brief review. The ball appeared to carom off a railing just above the wall in right-center and bounced back on the field. It was originally ruled a home run, and the call was upheld after the umpires looked at the replay.
“That was my replay homer in HD,” Loney said. “I didn’t see what happened, but my teammates saw it hit the railing. I was pretty sure it was a home run.”
Lackey, who has had an up and down season after missing the first six weeks with an elbow injury, didn’t get much of a lift as the Angels left 12 on base.
“They manufactured a couple of runs on me, other than the homer, but I felt like I was throwing the ball good,” Lackey said. “It was a tough game. You’ve got to give their guy credit. He pitched good enough.”
In the eighth, Broxton struck out Aybar with the bases loaded. Aybar also grounded out with two on to end the second inning, while Hunter popped up to shortstop Rafael Furcal with a pair of runners on in the fifth.
“We had plenty of opportunities and we just didn’t capitalize on the mistakes he made. We had 12 guys runners stranded, and that’s not good,” Hunter said.
Blake made it a four-run lead again with an RBI infield single in the ninth.
“We just couldn’t get that hit that could have changed the complexion of the game, and we were playing catch-up pretty must the rest of the way after that,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ^Notes: With Rodriguez at the plate in the fifth, a man jumped over the wall close to the first-base line and ran onto the field before being tackled by security guards and handcuffed. … Kobe Bryant of the NBA champion Lakers sat behind the Dodgers’ dugout for the game with his father, Joe. … Angels RHP Ervin Santana(notes) threw a bullpen session Sunday, and is scheduled to start Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies barring any issues. Santana, who was nursing a strained muscle in his forearm, threw 43 pitches, “a no-hitter,” he said. … The Angels established awards in memory of pitcher Nick Adenhart(notes) and Preston Gomez. Adenhart was killed in a traffic accident with Courtney Stewart and Henry Pearson on April 9. Gomez spent his last 28 years with the Angels and passed away in January.