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Dodgers' Kershaw, Wilson combine to shut out Marlins

The SportsXchange

MIAMI - After Clayton Kershaw turned in another gem Thursday afternoon, Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis was asked about handling three of the best pitchers in the majors, along with Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu.

"It's fun isn't it?" Ellis said.

Not if you are the Miami Marlins, who were shut out 6-0 by the combined efforts of Kershaw's eight innings and Brian Wilson, who made his Dodgers debut with a scoreless ninth inning Thursday.

The Dodgers, who scored five of their runs with two outs, took the four-game series 3-1 and have now won 45 of their past 55 games. They have either won or tied 18 straight series.

Kershaw (13-7) enhanced his Cy Young Award credentials by allowing five hits and three walks, striking out six.

For the season, he leads the National League in ERA (1.72) and strikeouts (188), among other categories. His scoreless streak is at 16 innings, and he tops the majors with 12 games in which he has pitched at least eight innings.

The Marlins got the leadoff batter on five times against Kershaw, but the Dodgers' defense turned three double plays to keep their ace out of trouble.

"It wasn't the typical 'Kersh' early," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "The first couple of innings (his pitch counts) were 20 and 17, but (those numbers) kept coming down, and he got the outs when he needed."

Marlins rookie Christian Yelich said Kershaw lacked fastball command early.

"He was all over the place, and you could see him get frustrated," Yelich said. "But he found it there pretty quick. He's one of the best pitchers in the league for a reason."

Kershaw was also supported by an offense that produced five doubles.

In the ninth, Mattingly turned to Wilson, the former Giants closer. The first batter he faced was Giancarlo Stanton, and Wilson struck him out looking en route to an inning in which he allowed one hit and struck out two.

"I wasn't surprised at all," Ellis said of Wilson, whose fastball was clocked at 94 mph on Thursday. "(Wilson) has been working extremely hard. I was very impressive with his stuff and his confidence. This guy has gotten last outs in World Series games, so he is somebody we can count on to help us a lot."

Marlins manager Mike Redmond was asked to compare the Dodgers with other elite NL teams such as the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals.

"When you see the (Dodgers') starting pitching and bullpen, they could be one of the best teams," Redmond said. "They are bringing in Brian Wilson as a mop-up guy, so that's pretty good."

The Dodgers opened the scoring with three runs in the fourth. Yasiel Puig led off the inning with a double to center field - the ball missed going over the fence, which is 418 feet from home plate, by a couple of inches.

Puig, who was dehydrated and needed an IV after Wednesday's game, was back to full strength Thursday.

With two outs, Skip Schumaker was hit by a pitch and Juan Uribe walked to load the bases. Kershaw then hit a run-scoring single to left, and Carl Crawford smacked a two-run double to right.

The Dodgers padded their lead with a pair of two-out doubles by Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis, who got the RBI. Schumaker then hit a run-scoring single to center, giving L.A. a 5-0 lead.

In the seventh, the Dodgers padded their advantage when Adrian Gonzalez led off with a double, advanced on Jeff Mathis' passed ball and scored on Puig's sacrifice fly.

NOTES: Puig hit cleanup in place of SS Hanley Ramirez, who was given the day off. Nick Punto started at shortstop. ... The homer hit by Stanton on Wednesday had a 110 mph exit speed off his bat. Stanton doubled in four at-bats Thursday, extending his season-long hitting streak to nine games. He is hitting .342 with two doubles, three homers and five RBI during that span. ... Greinke, who beat the Marlins on Wednesday, has a 1.41 ERA since July 8, which leads the majors during that span, and the Dodgers have won 11 of his past 12 starts. ... Marlins SS Adeiny Hechavarria has fallen into a bit of a fielding slump this month. He has 13 errors this season, including six in August. ... Next up for the Marlins is a three-game series against the visiting Rockies. ... The Dodgers will return home to play host to the Red Sox for three games.
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