LOS ANGELES - Carl Crawford hit two home runs and Clayton Kershaw struck out 12 and delivered a gem of a performance to boost the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 2-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers before 49,003 fans on Sunday at Dodger Stadium.
Kershaw settled into a groove after giving up three hits to the first five batters he faced. He retired 18 in a row from the second inning before giving up a lead-off double to left-center to Carlos Gomez in the eighth.
Brandon League retired the side in the ninth for his eighth save.
It marked the fifth time Kershaw (3-2) has struck out at least 12. He struck out at least two batters in six of the eight innings he pitched.
The Brewers were one of the few clubs that had given Kershaw trouble in the past. In four of his previous starts at Dodger Stadium against Milwaukee, Kershaw had an 0-3 record with a 8.47 ERA. He gave up five runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings in a 6-3 loss at Dodger Stadium on May 30, 2012, the last time Kershaw faced the Brewers.
But he kept the Brewers quiet as church mice on Sunday. And with Crawford providing a cushion, it was more than enough for Kershaw and the Dodgers (12-12), who took two of three from the Brewers (12-11).
Crawford led off the game with a solo home run, tagging Kyle Lohse's first pitch and driving it over the centerfield wall for a 1-0 lead.
In the fifth, Crawford drilled an 0-2 pitch from Lohse into the right-field bleachers for a 2-0 Dodger lead with two outs.
Lohse (1-2) pitched well, limiting the rest of the Dodgers' lineup to only three hits on four strikeouts and no walks in seven innings. But the two mistakes to Crawford cost him.
NOTES: Hanley Ramirez, who went 1-for-3 with two RBIs in a rehab start Saturday at single-A Rancho Cucamonga, could be in the Dodgers' lineup as early as Monday. Dodger manager Don Mattingly didn't rule out Ramirez possibly returning when the Dodgers host the Rockies Monday, saying it was up to the club's medical staff. "I think anything's possible the way he looked (Saturday)," Mattingly said referring to the Ramirez's rehab performance. "If medical says this guy is ready to play..." then Ramirez will play Monday. ... Dodgers prospect Yasiel Puig was arrested and charged with speeding, reckless driving and driving without proof of insurance in Chattanooga, Tenn., early Sunday, according to the Los Angeles Times. Puig, a 22-year-old Cuban defector, inked a seven-year, $42-million deal last summer with the Dodgers.