LOS ANGELES – Clayton Kershaw struck out 13 and the Los Angeles Dodgers shutout the New York Mets 5-0, on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.
Kershaw (5-1) had a record-setting performance on the night as he struck out 10 or more for the fifth consecutive start, a franchise record dating back to 1913.
"Strikeouts are strikeouts, it doesn't really matter," Kershaw said of the record. "But to be put in the same sentence with him [Sandy Koufax], I don't take it for granted for sure."
Yasmani Grandal homered for the second consecutive game, as the Dodgers split the four-game series with the Mets in a rematch of the 2015 National League Division Series.
After three straight singles to start the game, Grandal crushed a Bartolo Colon fastball into deep right field to cap off a four-run first inning off the Mets right-hander. The estimated 449-foot blast was Grandal's longest on the season as he continues to hit well at Dodger Stadium.
"Our offense is gonna go at some point," Grandal said after the game. "They way we've been going, and we're still in first place? That's kinda scary. Once our offense gets going, I guarantee you there's a lot of pitchers that are going to pay."
Chase Utley had a season-high three hits, going 3-for-4 with a solo home run in the second inning as the Dodgers built up an early 5-0 lead, never looking back with their ace on the mound.
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Utley is 10-for-20 with two doubles, a home run and three RBI against Colon, and ranks second in active players in hits and homers against the Mets franchise.
Colon (3-2) lost for the first time since April 9, allowing five runs on seven hits in five innings of work (his shortest start of the season). The soon to be 43-year-old, went 0-for-1 with a strikeout at the plate after homering in his last start in San Diego.
The night belonged to Kershaw however, as he recorded his second straight complete game shutout at Dodger Stadium and 14th of his career.
"It's always my goal to shake the catcher's hand," Kershaw said of the 14 career complete game shutouts. "It's a good feeling."
It was also Kershaw's second consecutive shutout of the Mets as he blanked the "Amazins'" on July 23rd of last season at Citi Field in a 7-0 victory.
"It's always good to get a series split against a good team like that," Kershaw said of the Mets. "We scored some runs tonight, had some big home runs, so hopefully that carries over."
On Thursday, in his 250th career start, Kershaw punched out 13 Mets' hitters, allowing just three hits with one walk, going the full nine innings. Adding to his lore, the three-time Cy Young Award winner has struck out 56 batters, issuing just two free passes in his last five starts.
"I'm getting old," Kershaw joked of his 250 starts. "It went by fast, but hopefully I can make 250 more."
Players of the Game:
Clayton Kershaw: Complete game shutout.
Yasmani Grandal: Three-run home run.
Chase Utley: 3-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored.
1. Record-Breaker: Clayton Kershaw made his fifth consecutive start with double-digit strikeouts on Thursday, surpassing Sandy Koufax and Hideo Nomo for the longest such streak in franchise history. The MLB record is eight, held by Chris Sale and Pedro Martinez.
2. Undefeated: Clayton Kershaw is a perfect 81-0 in the regular season when spotted four or more runs of support in a game.
"You know what (Kershaw's) record is when he gets four runs or more? 80-0, Eighty and Zip!" — Vin Scully (@VinScullyTweet) May 13, 2016
3. Three's Company: Even after his record-tying 20 strikeout performance on Wednesday night, Washington Nationals starter, Max Scherzer was passed by Clayton Kershaw for the MLB lead in strikeouts on Thursday (77-66). Kershaw also leads all active players in baseball with 14 career shutouts. Ironically, his counterpart, Bartolo Colon, is second with 13.
Over Max Scherzer's last 5 starts he has 46 strikeouts, including his 20K performance last night . Over Kershaw's last 5 starts he has 57 Ks — Och (@theOchieee) May 13, 2016
Mets (21-13): New York travels to Colorado where Matt Harvey takes the mount as they open a three-game series with the Rockies.
Dodgers (18-17): Los Angeles hosts their playoff nemesis, the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday at Dodger Stadium as rookie Ross Stipling looks to earn his first career win. First pitch is 7:10PM PST.