Phoenix, AZ – Clayton Kershaw just can't catch a break.
Ian Kennedy outdueled Kershaw, pitching 7 1/3 scoreless frames, as the Arizona Diamondbacks blanked the Los Angeles Dodgers, 1-0, in the first tilt of a quick two-game set.
The Dodgers ace received one or zero runs of run support for the fourth time in five starts and matched zeroes with Kennedy until the seventh. Kershaw (12-9) gave up one unearned run on three hits with five strikeouts and three walks over seven frames. Luis Cruz hit two hits in the Dodgers' second straight loss.
"I blinked first tonight, I threw a pitch I shouldn't have, I didn't put it where I wanted to and Miguel(Montero) made me pay for it," Kershaw said. "He did a good job with it. You can't blink first in those games and I did, so that's just the way it goes."
Los Angeles sits six games behind San Francisco in the National League West and one game behind St. Louis for the second wild card after the Cardinals lost in San Diego.
Kennedy (13-11) scattered four hits with six strikeouts and threw 77 of his 110 pitches for strikes. David Hernandez pitched the ninth for his third save of the season, as Arizona won for the second time in three games. Miguel Montero knocked in the game's lone run in the victory.
"Tonight my fastball, and really what made my fastball better, was the execution of the off speed pitches," Kennedy said. "I was throwing them for strikes, when you do that it is going to be a good game, at least you give your team a chance, you've got to against Kershaw, he is one of the best pitchers in the game."
Kennedy and Kershaw matched each other pitch for pitch with the first threat coming in the home third, as a single and two walks loaded the bases, but Kershaw got Jason Kubel to ground out to second.
Andre Ethier doubled with two outs in the top of the fifth, but was left stranded on a run-saving catch by Kubel, who climbed the wall in left to rob Cruz of a two-run home run.
After the Dodgers again wasted a two-out double in the seventh, the Diamondbacks pushed across the game's only run -- an unearned run at that. Paul Goldschmidt reached on a throwing error by Hanley Ramirez and scored when Montero doubled to right-center field.
After a passed ball moved Montero to third, he tested Matt Kemp's arm in center and was thrown out on an accurate toss right into the base line and the waiting knee of a sliding Montero.
Kershaw pitched after getting a cortisone shot on Saturday to help with a sore hip. He was scratched from a start this past Sunday against the Giants ... Kershaw has not allowed more than three runs in any of his last eight starts ... Arizona has won nine of its past 11 versus the Dodgers.