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Kershaw goes for Dodgers in finale with Braves

(SportsNetwork.com) - Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has taken baseball by storm every five days since the end of May.

After a May 28 start against Cincinnati in which he allowed three runs in seven innings of a 3-2 loss, Kershaw has been on Cy Young watch with a 9-0 record and a minuscule 0.94 earned run average in his last 10 starts.

The Dodgers have won all 10 of those appearances and will send the seemingly impenetrable left-hander to the mound Thursday in the finale of a three-game series versus the Atlanta Braves at Chavez Ravine. Kershaw has three complete games and five scoreless performances during his fantastic run and tossed a three-hitter in Saturday's 5-0 win at San Francisco.

Kershaw struck out seven Giants and walked just one. He has issued one free pass in each of his previous four appearances and struck out at least seven batters in the past 12 trips to the mound. Kershaw, unbeaten in past five starts at Dodger Stadium, is 5-1 in seven home starts overall and 10-2 in 13 night games.

He has pitched seven innings or more 12 times this season. Kershaw has no record and a 2.45 ERA in four career starts against Atlanta.

Los Angeles has a good chance of keeping its winning streak intact with Kershaw on the hill Thursday and posted a 3-2 win in 10 innings last night. Matt Kemp's RBI single plated Justin Turner for the game-winning run and the outfielder also homered for the second straight game.

"I'm getting pitches to hit, I'm being more selective," Kemp said. "To help the team win a game is a great feeling."

Kemp has three home runs and six RBI in the past two games for the NL West- leading Dodgers, who have won five in a row and seven of nine games. Juan Uribe drove in a run and J.P. Howell picked up the win with a scoreless 10th inning. Dodgers starter Zack Greinke fanned 13 batters and allowed one run in eight innings.

Los Angeles, which is three games ahead of San Francisco for the division lead, has gone 14-5 in its last 19 home games and is unbeaten in the past four games at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers will host the Chicago Cubs next for three games on this homestand.

Atlanta will try to avoid the sweep Thursday and has lost six of its last 10 games. In last night's tough loss in extra innings, David Hale allowed Kemp's game-winning hit and starter Alex Wood pitched well in the no-decision, charged with only one run in seven innings with eight K's.

Justin Upton went 3-for-4 with a home run for the Braves, who now sit 1 1/2 games behind Washington for the NL East lead.

"Alex made great pitches against a tough lineup," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Justin got us back in the game. We had opportunities. Matt Kemp is still a great player and he's dangerous at the plate."

The Braves will head to San Diego next for three games.

Julio Teheran will start for the Braves Thursday and is 10-6 with a 2.71 earned run average this season. Teheran is 4-1 in his past five decisions and squeezed past San Diego in Saturday's 5-3 win, allowing three runs and nine hits in six innings.

Teheran did not walk a batter and fanned five -- one start after striking out 11 and yielding one run in seven innings of a no-decision versus Miami on July 21. The All-Star right-hander has a 6-5 record in 11 road assignments and will face Los Angeles for the first time.

Much like Kershaw, Teheran is dominant at night as evidenced by a 9-4 ledger in 18 chances.

Atlanta won five of seven meetings with Los Angeles last season.

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