Photo: US Presswire
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) Clayton Kershaw outpitched Ian Kennedy after exchanging brushback pitches with his fellow ace, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 3-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night without injured star Matt Kemp.
The Dodgers center fielder was sidelined by a strained left hamstring, ending his consecutive game streak at 399. It was the longest active streak in the majors until Monday. Andre Ethier homered in Kemp's absence as the Dodgers won their fifth straight.
Kershaw (3-1) scattered four hits over seven innings, struck out six and walked three, helping the Dodgers improve the best record in the majors to 24-11. The reigning NL Cy Young winner bounced back from winless starts against Colorado and San Francisco in which he gave up four home runs.
Josh Lindblom gave up a home run to Aaron Hill in the eighth inning and Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save in five attempts.
Kemp missed his first game since Aug. 18, 2009. Third baseman Juan Uribe, who was in manager Don Mattingly's original lineup, was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of an injury to his left wrist.
Kemp was replaced in center by Tony Gwynn Jr., who prevented a run in the third inning with a perfect one-hop throw to A.J. Ellis after A.J. Pollack tried to score from second base on a single to right-center by Willie Bloomquist. In Sunday's win over Colorado, Gwynn shifted from left field to center after Kemp aggravated his hamstring injury while robbing Carlos Gonzalez with a diving backhanded catch in left-center.
Kennedy (3-3) was charged with three runs - two earned - and six hits in six innings, after going 12-0 with a 2.28 ERA in his previous 17 starts against NL West opponents. The right-hander, coming off back-to-back losses against Washington and St. Louis, has lost three straight starts for the first time since June 15-July 5, 2010, when he lost four in a row while allowing 20 earned runs over a span of 23 2-3 innings.
The Dodgers scored their first run when Dee Gordon led off the first inning with a single, advanced two bases on Kennedy's errant pickoff throw and scored on Mark Ellis' groundout. In the sixth, Ethier drove a 2-1 pitch deep into the right field pavilion for his eighth homer and Adam Kennedy made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly three batters later.
Kershaw faced the Diamondbacks for the first time since his 3-2 victory on Sept. 14 at Dodger Stadium, when he was ejected by umpire Bill Welke for hitting Gerardo Parra with a pitch on the right elbow after Parra doubled his previous time up. One night earlier, Parra had taken an extra second or two to leave the batter's box on his tying home run against Hong-Chih Kuo, who had thrown an earlier pitch at his head.
On Monday night, Kennedy threw a 2-1 pitch behind Kershaw and to the backstop before walking him. Kershaw returned the favor in the fifth, making Kennedy bail out of the batter's box on a first-pitch fastball before walking him. Umpire Marvin Hudson immediately issued a warning to Kershaw and both dugouts.
NOTES: During Kemp's streak, he was used nine times as a pinch-hitter, twice as a designated hitter - and once as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement - after Manny Ramirez injured his hamstring. ... Ethier's homer was the first given up by Kennedy in his last seven starts on the road - a stretch that spanned 45 2-3 innings and 168 batters. The last one he had allowed away from Chase Field was a two-run shot by John Mayberry Jr. on August 18, 2011 at Philadelphia.