LOS ANGELES -- The Pittsburgh Pirates got blanked for the second straight night and Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw turned in another shutout performance in a 1-0 Dodgers victory at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night.
Kershaw picked up right where he left off after his dominant complete-game shut-out against the San Francisco Giants on Opening Day, limiting the Pirates to just a two hits and a walk over seven innings, including nine strikeouts.
Kershaw has now gone 16 innings without giving up a run to start the season and has 16 strikeouts against just one walk.
But it's nothing unusual for the Pirates, who were shutout 3-0 against Zack Greinke on Friday and have six runs during the first five games.
Considering the Dodgers embarrassment of riches in their rotation -- they came in with two shut-out victories, led the Majors with a 1.00 team ERA and were fourth with a 1.77 opponents' batting average -- it just wasn't a good match up for light-hitting Pittsburgh.
It's good the Dodgers can pitch, because outside of lead-off hitter Carl Crawford they aren't hitting much. Crawford was responsible for the only run of the game in the third inning, reaching base on a single, then stealing second base and scoring on a single by Mark Ellis.
It was Crawford's second stolen base of the game after walking in the first, and the Dodgers' new lead-off hitter has been nothing short of an on-base machine through the first five games. His two hits Friday raised his batting average to .438.
Give credit to Pirates starter A.J. Burnett, who gave up four hits and four walks while striking out nine over 5 1/3 innings, but the over-anxious and out-of-rhythm Dodgers also helped him out.
Adrian Gonzalez opened the eighth with a double to center field, but Ethier popped out and Luis Cruz and Justin Sellers both struck out.
That left it up to closer Brandon League to finish the Pirates off, which he did by getting Andrew McCutchen to ground out to second to end the game.
NOTES: On Saturday, they dealt starter Aaron Harang and cash considerations to Colorado for veteran catcher Ramon Hernandez. Harang was an odd-man out in the Dodgers rotation, and started the season pitching out of the bullpen. In Colorado, he's expected to go right back to his customary starter's role. Hernandez, meanwhile, will compete with Tim Federowicz for the back-up catcher's spot behind A.J. Ellis. ... The problem is, the big bats behind him have yet to get untracked -- namely Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. Kemp, in particular, has been mired in a funk the first five games, with one hit in his first 14 at-bats before going hitless in four at-bats Saturday, including three more strikeouts. Kemp is now batting .056 first three at-bats against A.J. Burnett.