(Sunday, July 29th)
Final Score: Los Angeles 4, San Francisco 0
San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - When the Giants realized they weren't going to score against Clayton Kershaw, they tried to drill him with a batted ball.
That didn't work, either, and now the Dodgers and Giants are virtually tied atop the NL West.
Kershaw, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, continued his unbelievable dominance at AT&T Park with his second shutout there, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 4-0 victory and a three-game sweep of archrival San Francisco.
It was the eighth appearance for Kershaw at the Giants' gorgeous stadium on the bay, and once again the home fans were tortured by the Dodgers' best pitcher. Kershaw (8-6) improved to 5-2 in San Francisco, but he's now allowed four earned runs in 54 2/3 innings pitched for an earned run average of 0.66.
"Anytime you sweep the Giants at home, I think regardless of what happened in the previous series, that's a big deal," Kershaw said.
In the seventh, Los Angeles fans had a scary moment when Kershaw was drilled by a line drive off his glove hand. The out was recorded, and it took a few minutes for Kershaw to recover and polish off his five-hitter and fifth career shutout.
Luis Cruz provided the bulk of the Dodgers' run support with two hits and two RBI, as Los Angeles finished a 10-game road trip with a 7-3 mark.
Ryan Vogelsong (8-5) was dealt a hard-luck loss for San Francisco, which had beaten Kershaw twice this year before Sunday's setback. It was the second straight shutout loss for the Giants.
"We got two months of baseball to play and a lot of things can happen between now and then. If history repeats itself, this division always comes down to the last couple weeks of the season," Vogelsong said.
Despite being 0-2 against the Giants this year, including 0-1 in San Francisco, Kershaw had allowed only four runs in 14 innings (2.57 ERA), but he was nearly flawless in this outing.
San Francisco never advanced a runner past second base, and its best chance likely came in the second inning, when Angel Pagan reached on an error with one out. He was quickly picked off, though Marco Scutaro and Brandon Belt both singled to keep the inning going.
Brandon Crawford grounded out to Kershaw to end the threat.
Los Angeles got all the offense it needed in a two-run fourth, which began with back-to-back singles from Juan Rivera and Matt Kemp. Rivera moved to third on a fly ball and scored when Hanley Ramirez barely beat what would have been an inning-ending double play at first.
Ramirez's hustle to first proved beneficial, as Cruz doubled him home two batters later for a 2-0 lead.
The Dodgers added two runs in the eighth on RBI singles from Cruz and Mark Ellis, though with Kershaw on the mound, it served only as a statistical boost in the box score.
The lefty finished the contest in 116 pitches, striking out seven and walking only one.
The Dodgers lead the season series, 5-4...The Giants are 55-46 and the Dodgers 56-47, meaning the Giants hold the division lead by mere percentage points...San Francisco is now 2-4 on a 10-game homestand that finishes against the Mets...Vogelsong has thrown at least six innings in all 19 starts this season...Kershaw has a 1.32 ERA against the Giants lifetime, which is the lowest for any pitcher in history with at least 75 innings pitched against San Francisco...Cruz extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
07/29 22:24:47 ET