Los Angeles, CA – Clayton Kershaw turned in another brilliant performance with seven scoreless innings and the Dodgers bullpen preserved the shutout as Los Angeles defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 1-0, on Saturday.
Kershaw (2-0) struck out nine and allowed just two hits and a walk. He has yet to give up a run through his first 16 innings of work this season. Brandon League spun a scoreless ninth to pick up his second save.
The Dodgers offense struggled, going just 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and leaving 10 men on base. Mark Ellis provided the lone score with an RBI single in the third.
Pittsburgh was even worse at the plate, with Starling Marte recording the team's only two hits. Through the first five games, the Pirates have just 17 hits and have scored only six runs.
A.J. Burnett (0-2) was saddled with the loss, giving up one run on four hits and four walks. He struck out nine.
Carl Crawford went 2-for-3 and after reaching with a two-out single in the third, he stole second and raced home on Ellis' ground ball base hit to left to score the game's only run.
That was all Kershaw would need, as he went on to retire 17 straight batters after giving up a hit to Marte to start the game. Marte got on with another single in the sixth, but was left stranded.
Burnett was also strong, striking out the side in both the first and fifth innings, but was replaced in the sixth after surrendering a single to Adrian Gonzalez and walking Andre Ethier.
Jared Hughes took the mound and promptly gave up a single to A.J. Ellis to load the bases. However, the Dodgers couldn't get a run across as Luis Cruz popped up and Justin Sellers grounded into a force out to end the threat.
Los Angeles put runners on first and second in the seventh and eighth innings, but again failed to score.
League came on in the ninth to close out the game. He gave up a two-out walk to Neil Walker, but got Andrew McCutcheon to ground out to end the game.
The Pirates were shutout for the second straight game ... Pittsburgh's Pedro Alvarez and Los Angeles' Matt Kemp each struck out three times ... The Dodgers have won eight straight games against Pittsburgh as host ... Los Angeles will go for the series sweep on Sunday and will send Hyun-Jin Ryu to the hill. Pittsburgh will counter with Jeff Locke.