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Dodgers 8, Rays 2

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers moved to 49-0 when scoring at least four runs for Clayton Kershaw and won for the 37th time in 45 games overall, completing a three-game sweep of the visiting Tampa Bay Rays with an 8-2 win Sunday at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers jumped on Tampa Bay starter Jeremy Hellickson in a hurry and Kershaw hit cruise control, steamrolling the Rays for eight innings.

Kershaw allowed three hits and two runs (one earned) while striking out eight in eight innings before giving way to Carlos Marmol. Kershaw (11-7) threw 102 pitches, 69 strikes, as he led the Dodgers to their 20th win in 23 second-half games.

Uncharacteristically, the Los Angeles lineup -- missing Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez -- produced in a big way for Kershaw.

Four Dodgers had multiple hits, including Mark Ellis, who led the way with a home run, a double, a single and three RBIs. Carl Crawford, A.J. Ellis and Dee Gordon added two hits apiece for Los Angeles, and Kershaw hit a two-run single.

Hellickson (10-6) became the fifth Rays pitcher in six games to fail to make it out of the fifth inning. He lasted just three, giving up four runs on seven hits.

The Dodgers jumped to a 6-0 lead through three innings, giving Kershaw rare early support. Los Angeles scored four or more runs for Kershaw for just the ninth time in his 25 starts this year.

Kershaw helped his own cause with a first-inning, two-RBI single. Mark Ellis followed two batters later with an RBI double, scoring Kershaw.

A.J. Ellis added a sacrifice fly in the third inning after Yasiel Puig banged a stand-up double. Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run double in the fourth.

Tampa Bay finally made some noise in the fifth inning, getting two hits, including a Sam Fuld RBI triple.

NOTES: Los Angeles RHP Brian Wilson threw his second consecutive 1-2-3 inning of relief for Triple-A Albuquerque. He's expected to pitch again Tuesday before possibly joining the Dodgers later this week. ... Dodgers rookie RHP Stephen Fife will remain with Albuquerque for more relief appearances but is available as emergency starter. ... Los Angeles SS Hanley Ramirez was still out due to a shoulder injury, but he took infield practice. ... Hellickson batted in the No. 8 hole for Tampa Bay, the first time in club history a Rays pitcher batted eighth and the first time a Dodgers opponent did so since Pirates LHP Zach Duke batted in that slot in May 2010. ... Tampa Bay released RHP Kyle Farnsworth after designating him for assignment Friday. ... Rays LHP Matt Moore (elbow soreness) had a successful throwing session Sunday and is expected to throw again during the week.
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