|L.A. Dodgers (82-75) «||0||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||x||8||12||0|
The left-hander struck out 10 over eight innings and Shane Victorino hit a three-run homer in the Dodgers' 8-0 win over the Colorado Rockies 8-0 on Friday night. Los Angeles remained three games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild card with five games to play.
The Dodgers' third victory in a row clinched a winning season for the second straight year under manager Don Mattingly.
"We got to keep pressure on St. Louis," he said. "We got to force them to win every day."
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Kershaw (13-9) allowed five hits and walked two, lowering his NL-leading ERA to 2.58. His 221 strikeouts are one behind New York Mets ace R.A. Dickey's 222 for the league lead.
"I'm just realistic," said Kershaw, who expects to start the Dodgers' regular season finale next Wednesday against the NL West-leading Giants. "We pretty much need to win out. We're playing great baseball now. We can't really worry about St. Louis. Obviously we're watching."
Kershaw, last season's NL Cy Young winner, pitched on his regular five days' rest after going 12 days between starts leading up to his previous start against Cincinnati on Sept. 23 because his hip was sore.
He said his hip felt good, adding, "I can't explain it. Just being back on a regular routine helps."
Kershaw helped himself in the seventh, starting a double play when he turned around and fielded Andrew Brown's comebacker between his legs with his back to the plate and fired to second for the first out.
"I was lucky," he said. "Close your eyes and hope it ended up in the glove."
The Dodgers provided Kershaw with early run support, taking a 4-0 lead in the second off Jeff Francis (5-7). Andre Ethier's RBI double scored the first run and Victorino followed with his 11th homer.
Los Angeles made it 5-0 in the fourth when Ethier singled and scored on a double-play grounder by Kershaw.
"He was pretty much lights out," Francis said about Kershaw. "You could tell because guys weren't putting good swings against him even when the ball was in the strike zone. He was pretty spectacular."
Making his team-leading 23rd start, Francis gave up six hits and five runs in four innings, struck out three and walked one to fall to 0-3 in his last six starts. The left-hander hasn't won since Aug. 27 against the Dodgers. The last-place Rockies' four-game winning streak ended as they opened a season-ending six-game road trip.
|Clayton Kershaw strikes out ten in eight innings of work as the Dodgers hang on to their slim playoff hopes. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Josh Rutledge, SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.287|
|Tyler Colvin, CF||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.290|
|Jordan Pacheco, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.306|
|Wilin Rosario, C||4||0||1||0||0||2||0||.277|
|Chris Nelson, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.302|
|Matt McBride, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.227|
|Andrew Brown, LF||1||0||0||0||2||1||0||.237|
|DJ LeMahieu, 2B||3||0||1||0||0||1||3||.294|
|Jeff Francis, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.067|
|a- Charlie Blackmon, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.272|
|Guillermo Moscoso, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.200|
|Josh Roenicke, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.083|
|William Harris, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-hit into fielder's choice for Francis in the 5th|
|2B - Wilin Rosario (19, Kershaw)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - LeMahieu-Rutledge-Pacheco|
|Jeff Francis (L,5-7)||4||6||5||5||1||3||1||5.75|
|HBP - Ellis (by Jeff Francis)|
|WP - William Harris 2 (4)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Francis 66-38, Guillermo Moscoso 39-24, Josh Roenicke 8-7, William Harris 25-15|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Francis 2-6, Guillermo Moscoso 2-3|
|Batters Faced - Jeff Francis 19, Guillermo Moscoso 9, Josh Roenicke 3, William Harris 7|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Mark Ellis, 2B||5||0||2||0||0||2||2||.261|
|Luis Cruz, 3B||5||0||1||0||0||0||2||.306|
|Matt Kemp, CF||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||.303|
|Adrian Gonzalez, 1B||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.295|
|Hanley Ramirez, SS||3||1||0||0||1||1||1||.251|
|Andre Ethier, RF||4||3||3||1||0||0||2||.285|
|Shane Victorino, LF||4||1||2||3||0||1||1||.252|
|A.J. Ellis, C||3||1||2||1||0||0||0||.268|
|Clayton Kershaw, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.200|
|a- Bobby Abreu, PH||1||1||1||2||0||0||0||.243|
|Josh Wall, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-homered for Kershaw in the 8th|
|2B - Mark Ellis (20, Harris), Andre Ethier (34, Francis), A.J. Ellis (20, Harris)|
|HR - Shane Victorino (11, Francis), Bobby Abreu (3, Harris)|
|SH - Clayton Kershaw (14)|
|RBI - Andre Ethier (87), Shane Victorino 3 (55), A.J. Ellis (47), Bobby Abreu 2 (24)|
|2-OUT RBI - A.J. Ellis (11), Bobby Abreu 2 (9)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Kershaw-Ellis-Gonzalez|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Clayton Kershaw (W,13-9)||8||5||0||0||2||10||0||2.58|
|Pitches-Strikes - Clayton Kershaw 113-80, Josh Wall 11-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clayton Kershaw 6-7, Josh Wall 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Clayton Kershaw 30, Josh Wall 3|
|Attendance - 37133|
|Game Time - 2:46|
|Temperature - 77|
|Umpires - Home - Todd Tichenor, First Base - Brian Gorman, Second Base - Victor Carapazza, Third Base - Tony Randazzo|