Relief pitcher Kenley Jansen #74 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates with catcher A.J. Ellis #17 after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 in the MLB game at Chase Field on August 27, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: “Clayton Kershaw dominates in a Dodger win.”
Well, it happened again Wednesday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Kershaw went eight innings, allowing six hits, one unearned run, he struck out 10 hitters and walked two, in a 3-1 victory at Chase Field.
He picked up his Major League-leading 16th win. The left-hander also lowered his Major League-leading ERA to 1.73 and, for the third straight start, he struck out at least 10 batters.
It wasn’t as smooth sailing as his pitching line suggests, which Kershaw even admitted.
"It was a bad start really. I felt like guys were on base the whole night," Kershaw said afterward.
"But, I was fortunate to get some outs when I needed them, and after about the fourth or fifth inning I settled in a little bit and I was able to make it through eight, which is good."
He was mostly right about the guys on base part.
Arizona had runners in scoring position in the third, fourth and fifth innings, and they made the lefty face a bases-loaded situation for the first time all season.
Did you get that?
In his previous 153 ⅓ innings pitched this season going into Wednesday, no team had loaded the bases against Kershaw…not one.
"I didn’t know that," a stunned Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said when he heard the stat from SportsNet LA reporter Alanna Rizzo.
"Does it surprise me? Yeah, that he never had the bases loaded all year but nothing too much surprises me with him anymore."
Arizona had the bases juiced in the third inning with one out, but Aaron Hill popped out to second and Mark Trumbo flied out to left to end the inning before a run crossed the plate.
The Diamondbacks got their only run in the fourth.
Alfredo Marte led off with a double to left. Jordan Pacheco followed with a single to center that kicked away from Yasiel Puig who failed in his dive attempt to try and catch it. Scott Van Slyke backed up the play, but twisted his ankle going for the ball and went down like a ton of bricks. His throw back to the infield allowed Marte to score making it, 3-1, Dodgers.
Van Slyke was charged with an error, thus the run was unearned.
The Diamondbacks only mustered two hits the rest of the game.
Van Slyke’s right ankle did a nasty roll, but Mattingly said the X-rays came back negative.
Scott Van Slyke left tonight's game with a mild right ankle sprain. He's listed as day to day.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 28, 2014
Before the injury, Van Slyke got the Dodgers an insurance run in the third with a home run to left off Arizona starter Wayne Smiley.
Four of Van Slyke’s 10 homers this season have come off Smiley, who took the loss to fall to 7-10.
For the second night in a row Matt Kemp was the offensive hero. He doubled home Dee Gordon and Yasiel Puig to get the Dodgers on the board, 2-0, in the third. Although, Kemp was thrown out at third on the play trying to stretch the hit into a triple.
Ender Inciarte went 2 for 3 with a triple and a stolen base for the Diamondbacks.
Kenley Jansen closed it out in the ninth to pick up his 100th career save, and after the game he got some hefty praise from his catcher A.J. Ellis.
“It’s another guy we take for granted, because when you see those bullpen gates open and you got a lead in the ninth you start packing things up because you feel like the game’s over,” Ellis told SportsNet LA.
The win gave the Dodgers their ninth consecutive road series win against teams in the National League West.