LOS ANGELES—Clayton Kershaw is on a winning roll—and doing it ever so efficiently.
He tossed a three-hitter while Yasmani Grandal belted a three-run homer to help the L.A. Dodgers blank the N.Y. Mets 5-0 last night for a split of the four-game series.
“It was special,” said Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts.
“I definitely put my fan hat on.”
Making his 250th career start, Kershaw (5-1) struck out 13 on 108 pitches while walking one to win his third-straight decision.
It was the left-hander’s fifth-straight start with double-digit strikeouts—a club record.
It also was his second shutout this month.
“Walking guys is how you get in trouble,” Kershaw noted. “I’d rather string hits together and make them swing the bats to beat me.
“That’s always my mentality.
“Fortunately, I feel like my mechanics have felt pretty solid the whole season and I’m able to repeat pitches pretty consistently,” he added.
Kershaw dominated in a matchup featuring pitchers with a combined four Cy Young Awards between them, with three belonging to the Dodgers’ ace.
He improved to 7-0 with 74 strikeouts in 10 regular-season starts against the Mets.
“He never gives in,” noted Mets’ manager Terry Collins. “He doesn’t have to stay in the zone to get you out.
“He’s so dominant,” Collins added. “He pitches in well to both sides of the plate.
“His off-speed stuff is tremendous.”
The Dodgers jumped on Bartolo Colon (3-2) with four runs in the first inning.
Their first run came on Justin Turner’s RBI single before Grandal homered off a 2-0 pitch into the right-field pavilion, making it 4-0.
Chase Utley added a two-out homer in the second for a 5-0 lead.
“They were aggressive early in the game,” noted Mets’ catcher Kevin Plawecki. “First two guys got base hits on the first swing.
“They were aggressive and took advantage of the balls up in the zone.”
The Dodgers came in averaging just 2.69 runs at home after averaging 4.2 last season, but they delivered early support for Kershaw, who improved to 81-0 when given four or more runs of support while in the game.
Los Angeles is 91-6 in those contests.
“You want to help your pitcher out, especially early in the game,” reasoned Grandal, who homered for the second-straight game.
The Mets’ fourth shutout loss of the season dropped them into a first-place tie with Washington atop the NL East.
Elsewhere in the NL, Philadelphia beat Atlanta 7-4 (10 innings), San Diego blanked Milwaukee 3-0, and San Francisco doubled Arizona 4-2.
Over in the AL, Baltimore beat Detroit 7-5, New York downed Kansas City 7-3, and Boston bombed Houston 11-1.
St. Louis topped the L.A. Angels 12-10 in interleague play.