You can't have a rainbow without a little rain.
Clayton Kershaw pitched five shutout innings around two rain delays and the Los Angeles Dodgers slipped past the New York Yankees, 2-0, in the rubber match of the series on Wednesday night.
After eight scoreless innings, Corey Seager reached base on an error by Starlin Castro to leadoff the ninth inning. Seager then stole second and scored on an RBI double by Justin Turner.
Two batters later, Grandal bounced back to Yankees' closer Dellin Betances, whose throw to home sailed past catcher Gary Sanchez, and the Dodgers scored an important insurance run as Grandal advanced to second.
"I knew we were going on contact there no matter where it was hit," Turner said of the play. "Betances fielded it, I took off, and he made a high throw and I slid in. Thank God Gary didn't land on top of me, I'm just glad we got the win."
The two runs were all the Dodgers needed in the game as Kershaw and the bullpen combined to throw a two-hit shutout in the series finale.
"It ended up working out. It wasn't too long of a rain delay," Kershaw said of the two separate stoppages that interrupted his start. "It was a good test for me to make sure I could do that and the pitch count was still in order. It's a good springboard for next time."
Kershaw had a perfect game through three innings when the rain began to fell at Yankee Stadium and the officiating crew called for the tarp. Minutes later, the rain stopped and the tarp came off as Kershaw pitched another perfect frame in the fourth.
The drizzle then became a downpour and once again rain delayed the game for nearly an hour before play resumed. To many peoples shock and amazement, Kershaw returned for the fifth, but an error followed by a single ended the perfect game and no-hitter for the three-time Cy Young Award winner.
"It was one of those situations where we wanted to have him keep going to get to that pitch count," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the decision for Kershaw to head back out to the mound after the lengthy delay. "So he threw a simulated inning in the tunnel down below. Ten more minutes and we would have gone to the pen."
Kershaw did not factor in the decision, allowing just one hit with five strikeouts and no walks in just his second start since coming off the disabled list last week.
"It was a little bit better today than my last time out," Kershaw said of his first start at Yankee Stadium in his career. "It was good to go back out there for five innings. Overall it was a little bit better today."
Michael Pineda pitched well through the first four innings for the Yankees, allowing no runs on two hits with two walks and five strikeouts before he exited the game after the first rain delay.
Betances (3-5) took the loss allowing two runs (none earned) on just one hit with one strikeout in the ninth inning.
Kenley Jansen worked the ninth and survived a scare by the Yankees to earn his career-best 44th save of the season.
Los Angeles increased their lead to five games over San Francisco in the National League West after the Giants were swept by the San Diego Padres earlier in the day.
The Dodgers magic number is now 13.
Players of the Game:
Clayton Kershaw: Five shutout innings.
Corey Seager: Scored go-ahead run in the 9th.
Justin Turner: Game-winning RBI double.
1. Groundhog Day: The stop and start nature of the game sandwiched between rain delays felt a little bit like the 1993 movie Groundhog Day. So who better to be in attendance than Bill Murray himself.
2. Interleague Play Record: The Los Angeles Dodgers concluded their interleague play with a 2-0 victory over the New York Yankees. They finish with a record of 10-10 in interleague play for the second consecutive season.
3. WHIP it Good: Clayton Kershaw lowered his WHIP to 0.72, the lowest mark in the live-ball era with at least 120 IP. Pedro Martinez in 2000 finished the season with a WHIP of .73.
Dodgers (82-63): Los Angeles heads to Arizona where Rich Hill will make his first start since he was pulled from a perfect game in the eighth inning when he takes the mound on Thursday at 6:40PM PST.
Yankees (77-68): One of the greatest rivalries in sports adds another chapter when New York takes on their rivals, the Boston Red Sox, at Fenway Park with first place in the American League East on the line.
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