LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw allowed one run over seven innings, Matt Kemp homered for the first time in more than a month, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3 on Friday night.
Kershaw (6-2) gave up eight hits and one run, walked one, and struck out seven to win his third consecutive start. He didn’t allow a runner past second base after the third inning.
Kemp got the scoring started when he crushed a 2-1 changeup deep into the bleachers in left-center field in the second inning to put the Dodgers up 2-0. The blast, measured at 402 feet, was Kemp’s first home run since May 10.
Diamondbacks rookie Chase Anderson (5-1) came up short in his bid to become the second NL pitcher since 1914 to win his first six career starts. He gave up five hits and two runs in five innings.
Aaron Hill cut the deficit in half in the top of the third, smacking a grounder down the third-base line just under the glove of a diving Chone Figgins for an RBI double.
After that Kershaw went into lockdown mode. He allowed only four baserunners the rest of the game, none of which passed second base.
Adrian Gonzalez provided valuable insurance in the seventh when he singled sharply to right field to score Hanley Ramirez, who doubled to lead off the inning.
The Diamondbacks rallied as soon as Kershaw left the game. Three of their first four batters in the eighth singled against reliever Brian Wilson, including a one-out RBI single by Tuffy Gosewich that brought them within one. But J.P Howell entered and struck out David Peralta and got Miguel Montero to fly out to end the threat.
Justin Turner extended the Dodgers lead back out to two in the bottom of the inning with a pinch-hit RBI single to right to score A.J. Ellis from second. The knock extended Turner’s modest hitting streak to six games and would prove valuable when the Diamondbacks once again staged a rally in the ninth against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen.
Gerardo Parra got the comeback attempt started with a one-out single, Paul Goldschmidt walked and Hill followed with a single through the left side to score Parra and cut the deficit to 4-3.
Jansen buckled down and escaped further damage though, striking out Martin Prado and inducing Cody Ross to fly out to right to end the game and record his 18th save.
The Dodgers’ win spoiled Diamondbacks rookie Chase Anderson’s bid to make history.
Anderson (5-1) was trying to become just the second National League pitcher since 1914 to win his first six career starts. Instead, he suffered his first career loss after allowing five hits and two runs in five innings, with four walks and four strikeouts.
Former Dodger Kaz Ishii remains the only National Leaguer to accomplish the feat. He began his career in 2002 with six straight wins.