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L.A. Dodgers (58-50) «00020001x370

Kershaw, Kemp carry Dodgers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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LOS ANGELES -- The home runs haven't exactly been coming in bunches for Matt Kemp since his hamstring problems began back in May. So when he gets one, he doesn't care how far it goes.

The slugging center fielder drove in the Dodgers' first two runs Saturday night with a fly ball that deflected off the glove of Chicago Cubs counterpart Joe Mather and over the fence in right-center. Clayton Kershaw and the bullpen made the lead stand up, and Los Angeles came away with a 3-1 victory.

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"I thought it was going to be a home run, but you never know in this ballpark," said Kemp, whose homer was his 16th this season and fourth in a span of 33 games and 127 at-bats. "It's tough to hit home runs at night here -- and after looking at it on the Jumbotron, I think I got a little bit of help. But we won, so it really doesn't matter."

Mather watched the replay a couple of times also and acknowledged that he could have tracked the ball a little differently.

"I didn't think it was going to go that far with the swing he took, but it ended up carrying and got out of the yard," said Mather, who was playing at Dodger Stadium for the first time in his career. "I saw the replay, and it was real close. Initially, I thought I should have gotten it. And obviously watching it again, I think that maybe if I had gotten a little better footing and made a little better jump, it's a different ballgame."

Kershaw (9-6) pitched three-hit ball over seven innings to keep Chicago's Chris Volstad winless in his last 21 starts. The reigning Cy Young Award winner, coming off a five-hit shutout against the Giants last Sunday, struck out seven and allowed his only run on a fourth-inning double by Alfonso Soriano while lowering his ERA to 2.88.

"He looked good. He was throwing 94 [mph] fastballs with a curveball, changeup and slider, and throwing everything for strikes," Mather said. "He was really attacking guys' weaknesses and he didn't leave a lot of balls over the plate."

Kershaw walked No. 8 hitter Luis Valbuena his first two times up, and Volstad advanced the runner both times with sacrifice bunts. But Starlin Castro grounded out on a slider to end the third-inning threat, then took a called third strike on another slider to end the fourth. The Cubs' leadoff hitter is 0 for 13 against Kershaw.

"The curveball wasn't very good tonight and I didn't throw a lot of strikes with it, but fortunately I had a decent slider," Kershaw said. "They came out aggressively and were putting the ball in play early. I'm just trying to go out there every time and give our team a chance to win."

Ronald Belisario pitched a perfect eighth and Kenley Jansen did likewise in the ninth for his 21st save. The Dodgers remained a half-game behind first-place San Francisco in the NL West.

Volstad (0-8) yielded two runs and six hits through seven innings before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter. The right-hander is 0-13 with eight no-decisions and a 5.49 ERA since beating Houston 5-4 on July 10 last season with the Marlins, who traded him to the Cubs in January for Carlos Zambrano.

Volstad was recalled from Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday, a day after starters Ryan Dempster and Paul Maholm were dealt away before the non-waiver trade deadline. This is Volstad's third stint with the big club this season, including a 5-1 loss to the Dodgers on May 5 at Wrigley Field.

Soriano's run-scoring double ended an RBI drought of five games and 23 at-bats since his two-run triple against St. Louis' Joe Kelly on July 28 at Chicago.

The Dodgers added a run in the ninth when Shane Victorino led off with a double and scored on a two-out error by Castro, who couldn't handle Hanley Ramirez's hard-hit grounder to shortstop.

Notes

  • Cubs 2B Darwin Barney eclipsed Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg's franchise record for consecutive errorless games in one season at that position with his 91st in a row. The NL single-season record is 113, by David Eckstein with San Diego in 2010.
  • This was the seventh time in Volstad's 10 starts this season that the Cubs scored fewer than two runs while he was in the game.
  • Kemp is hitting .336 with 13 RBI in 20 games since coming off the disabled list.
  • Soriano needs 11 RBI to reach 1,000 in his career.
  • The Dodgers optioned RHP Stephen Fife to Triple-A Albuquerque to clear a roster spot for RHP Joe Blanton, who met his teammates for the first time a day after the Dodgers acquired him from Philadelphia. "I was fortunate enough to get traded over there from Oakland in 2008 and won a World Series. Hopefully, history will repeat itself for me," Blanton said. "This is a great place to pitch. Being in California, you get that cool air at night. The ball doesn't travel as well as it does in Philly." Blanton will make his Dodgers debut in Sunday's series finale against Justin Germano, who was recalled from Iowa along with Volstad.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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The Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw allows three hits and one run in seven innings of work to defeat the Cubs. (AP)
The Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw allows three hits and one run in seven innings of work to defeat the Cubs. (AP)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

C. Kershaw
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 2
K 7
Los Angeles

M. Kemp
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Starlin Castro, SS4000012 .279
Darwin Barney, 2B4110010 .268
Anthony Rizzo, 1B4000010 .304
Alfonso Soriano, LF4011030 .270
Jeff Baker, RF3000021 .269
   a- Bryan LaHair, PH1000010 .267
Welington Castillo, C3010001 .220
Joe Mather, CF3000000 .221
Luis Valbuena, 3B1000211 .198
Chris Volstad, P0000000 .000
   b- David DeJesus, PH1000000 .261
    Shawn Camp, P0000000 .000
    James Russell, P0000000 .000
Totals28131210  
a-struck out for Baker in the 9th
b-grounded out for Volstad in the 8th
Batting
2B - Alfonso Soriano (23, Kershaw)
SH - Chris Volstad 2 (3)
RBI - Alfonso Soriano (62)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Valbuena-Barney-Rizzo
E - Starlin Castro (16, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Volstad (L,0-8) 7622131 7.22
Shawn Camp 0.1110100 3.52
James Russell 0.2000000 3.28
IBB - Kemp by Shawn Camp
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Volstad 100-67, Shawn Camp 12-5, James Russell 9-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Volstad 9-8, Shawn Camp 1-0, James Russell 3-0
Batters Faced - Chris Volstad 27, Shawn Camp 3, James Russell 3
Los Angeles Dodgers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Shane Victorino, LF4110002 .258
Mark Ellis, 2B4110012 .259
Matt Kemp, CF3112110 .351
Andre Ethier, RF3000111 .285
Hanley Ramirez, SS4000001 .245
James Loney, 1B4010002 .255
Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B3000001 .279
A.J. Ellis, C3010000 .284
Clayton Kershaw, P2020000 .162
   a- Tony Gwynn Jr., PH1000001 .233
    Ronald Belisario, P0000000 .000
    Kenley Jansen, P0000000 .000
Totals3137223  
a-hit into fielder's choice for Kershaw in the 7th
Batting
2B - Shane Victorino (18, Camp)
HR - Matt Kemp (16, Volstad)
RBI - Matt Kemp 2 (41)
Team LOB - 6
Los Angeles Dodgers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Clayton Kershaw (W,9-6) 7311270 2.88
Ronald Belisario (H,16) 1000010 3.12
Kenley Jansen (S,21) 1000020 1.81
Pitches-Strikes - Clayton Kershaw 112-74, Ronald Belisario 14-10, Kenley Jansen 9-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clayton Kershaw 10-4, Ronald Belisario 2-0
Batters Faced - Clayton Kershaw 26, Ronald Belisario 3, Kenley Jansen 3
Game Information
Attendance - 46588
Game Time - 2:33
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - Dan Iassogna, Third Base - C.B. Bucknor