This looked like the Dodgers' ninth win in a row for a few minutes. Russ Ortiz came in with an ERA of 6.23 and the Dodgers knocked him around for three runs in the first inning.
But as baseball games go nine innings they kept playing. And the rest of the game belonged to the Houston Astros, who won 8-5 and snapped the Dodgers' eight game winning streak. It also was the first time the Dodgers have given up more than five runs since April 10.
Dodger pitcher Kershaw came in with a 1.50 ERA but surrendered six earned runs in 4.1 innings of work, never coming close to displaying the control that struck out 13 one game ago. He even gave up maybe the biggest home run of his young career, a 400-foot blast off the bat of Carlos Lee that gave the Astros a 4-3 lead they would never relinquish.
There were a few highlights for the Dodgers — Manny Ramirez his third home run of the season. And, um, well, you just have to accept that there were others, even if they were not on SportsCenter.
While Ortiz may have struggled earlier this year, he remains a perfect 5-0 at Minute Maid Park
The Dodgers threatened to make one last push in the ninth inning. Ramirez came within a few feet of another home run with a deep out. Then with the bases loaded James Loney and Russell Martin struck out on pitches from Astro closer Jose Valverde.
It was just that kind of game for the Dodgers.