LOS ANGELES - The momentarily cooled Los Angeles Dodgers used a brilliant start from Clayton Kershaw to resume their winning ways with a 2-1 victory over the visiting Cincinnati Reds on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.
Cincinnati ended Los Angeles' six game winning streak on Thursday but behind Kershaw and enough hitting, the Dodgers won on Friday for the 16th time in 21 games.
With Kershaw on the mound this season, the Dodgers haven't felt the need to hit much this year, and once again the spectacular southpaw hoisted the offense onto his shoulders.
Kershaw allowed six hits and one run while striking out eight in eight innings, his fifth straight outing of seven or more innings. Kershaw threw 79-of-118 pitches for strike to out-duel Cincinnati's Homer Bailey before giving way to closer Kenley Jansen, who pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
Kershaw, who leads the Majors in ERA, opposing batting average and WHIP and ranks among league leaders in strikeouts and innings pitched, won for the fifth time in six starts.
Facing the Dodgers' ace, Bailey could not avoid a fourth straight loss despite allowing just two runs in seven innings. Bailey scattered seven hits and struck out five in his third straight outing with two or less runs of support.
Carl Crawford had three hits and Hanley Ramirez had two hits, including a two-RBI single, and a stolen base.
Cincinnati had no one with multiple hits as the lineup finished with 10 strikeouts and grounded into a double play.
Cincinnati needed more than six innings to get on the board, cutting the Dodger lead to 2-1 on a seventh-inning RBI single by Jay Bruce that scored Brandon Phillips.
Kershaw was nearly untouchable for much of the outing, with seven strikeouts, no walks and three strikeouts through six innings.
The Dodgers pecked at Bailey, though, and he finally yielded in the sixth inning.
With Adrian Gonzalez at first base following a single, Hanley Ramirez drilled a Bailey offering over the wall for a two-run home run.
NOTES: Cincinnati LF Ryan Ludwick went 0-for-3 in his third rehab appearance with the Class-A Dayton Dragons. Ludwick has been out since the second day of the season with a torn labrum. ... The Dodgers' best month in team history was a 17-3 showing in April 1977. Los Angeles leads the majors with a .299 batting average, 115 runs and a .463 slugging percentage. ... The Reds rank second behind the Dodgers in July hitting. ... Ethier ranks among the top 10 National League hitters in batting average, hits and doubles in July. ... Dodgers 2B Mark Ellis entered the game with a seven-game hitting streak. ... Cincinnati pitchers rank second in the league with a 3.35 ERA and the Reds are on pace for a club-record 1,316 strikeouts.