Published November 20, 2014
Even after being ejected, Clayton Kershaw still managed to pick up his 19th victory.
The Diamondbacks, who lost for just the fourth time in their last 22 contests, still have a magic number of six to win their first division title since 2007. They are 7 1/2 games ahead of San Francisco.
The tension had been building between these clubs the last two nights. It was during the seventh inning of Tuesday's game when Hong-Chih Kuo threw a pitch that sailed over the head of Parra, who then homered to right field and stood at the plate for a moment to admire his blast. After crossing the plate, Parra and Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis exchanged words, and Kershaw could be seen yelling from the dugout.
Parra led off the sixth inning Wednesday and was plunked on the right elbow. Home plate umpire Bill Welke's quick decision to eject Kershaw was met with anger from Don Mattingly. The Dodgers manager was also shown the door and Josh Lindblom came in to replace Kershaw, who pleaded from the dugout to have umpires change their minds about the ejection.
"It's just unfortunate in my opinion," Kershaw said. "It's just too strict. Bill was back there just trying to make sure everything was okay. I understand he has a job to do, but at the same time pay attention to the game and understand what's going on a little bit better."
Despite the early exit, Kershaw (19-5), who had five strikeouts, won his sixth straight decision to tie a career best and his seventh consecutive home start. He has captured each of his last 10 decisions at Dodger Stadium, going 11-1 with a 1.72 ERA this year in front of the home crowd.
Kershaw's 19 wins are tied with Arizona's Ian Kennedy for most in the National League.
"I'm not disappointed at all," Kershaw said. "We got a win and our bullpen picked me up. I didn't mean to hit him. I didn't talk to Bill at all. I wanted to plead my case. We have to be allowed to throw the ball inside."
Hudson (16-10) yielded five hits through seven frames and had his four-game winning streak stopped.
"They got two runs in the first off four infield singles, that's baseball," Hudson said. "I had better command overall and got locked in after that."
Los Angeles scored in the first thanks to small ball. Dee Gordon led off by legging out an infield hit and Tony Gwynn Jr. had a bunt single. Gordon was caught stealing third, but Gwynn went to second and scored on a nifty slide at home during Kemp's single to left. Aaron Miles walked with two outs and Sands then grounded a ball up the middle that deflected off the glove of a diving Willie Bloomquist, allowing Kemp to come home.
The only hit Kershaw allowed was a double to Parra in the third.
Hudson was spectacular in defeat. He retired 13 straight batters until walking pinch-hitter Trent Oeltjen in the seventh.
Hudson implied he wasn't shocked that Kershaw was ejected.
"Before the game, we were told if there was any intent we would be ejected," Hudson said. "That came from Major League Baseball."
Ryan Roberts doubled to right past a diving Sands to start the eighth against Nathan Eovaldi. Parra then hit a fly ball to deep right field, but Sands made a catch at the wall to take away an extra-base hit. Roberts advanced to third on the play and scored on pinch-hitter Geoff Blum's groundout.
Ryan Cook walked a pair of batters in the bottom of the frame, and Miles singled to left field to drive home Kemp when Parra air-mailed the throw to the plate.
Kenley Jansen gave up a leadoff single to Aaron Hill to begin the ninth, but fanned the next two batters before Miguel Montero grounded an RBI hit to left field. Jansen then caught Chris Young looking at strike three to lock up his fourth save.
Kershaw's 19 wins are the most for a Dodger since Ramon Martinez went 20-6 in 1990. He lowered his major league-best ERA to 2.30 and Kershaw's 236 strikeouts pace the NL and are two behind Detroit's Justin Verlander for the MLB lead...Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier underwent season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Wednesday...The Dodgers are 6-9 this season vs. Arizona. In order to avoid dropping their first season series against the Diamondbacks since 2005 (5-13), the Dodgers need to sweep a three- game set in Arizona to conclude the year...Hudson had won each of his previous four starts vs. NL West foes since Aug. 2, over which time he had a 0.87 ERA.