Los Angeles, CA – Ian Kennedy worked 6 1/3 stellar innings to guide the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 2-0 triumph over the Los Angels Dodgers in the opener of a four-game set at Dodger Stadium.
Kennedy (12-11) allowed just two hits struck out seven to pick up his seventh win in 10 tries.
"I felt good, I was upset, but that's just the competitor in me," Kennedy said about being pulled in the seventh inning. "We've (Arizona) had a bad stretch recently, but we're still within reach."
Chris Young hit a two-run homer for the D'backs, who snapped a six-game skid.
J.J. Putz stranded runners on the corners in the ninth to earn his 27th save of the season.
Clayton Kershaw (12-8) allowed nine hits, including Young's four-bagger, and struck out nine over six innings to absorb the loss.
Shane Victorino, Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez each tallied singles for the Dodgers, who have dropped seven in a row to Arizona.
"It's a loss we really can't afford," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "There are guys in that clubhouse that I trust will get the job done. We've got to do better in everything we do. I can give the other guy (Kennedy) credit, but that doesn't do us any good."
Young's two-run blast in the fourth got Arizona on the board. Miguel Montero singled before Young belted his 14th homer of the season, just over the fence and inside the left-field foul pole.
Putz avoided multiple disasters in the final frame.
With a runner on first in the ninth, Ramirez laced a line drive deep to left field, but it curled just foul at the last second. Ramirez later singled to put runners at first and second with no outs. Andre Ethier followed with a fielder's choice ground out to put runners on the corners.
Luis Cruz lifted a fly ball to left, but the Dodgers didn't send Gonzalez from third. Juan Rivera popped out to shortstop to end the game.
"We're trying to put our best foot forward," Young said. "We beat Kershaw twice in a row, we won 2-0. It is a tribute to our pitcher. You never give up here, we've made some moves but everyone is capable for a big push at the end."
Putz has 23 consecutive scoreless appearances and has converted 18 saves in a row ... The D'backs six-game losing tied a season-worst. They dropped six straight June 30-July 5 ... Kershaw has made seven consecutive quality starts.