Ace Kershaw twirls 2-hitter


Clayton Kershaw continued to spoil his manager with another brilliant performance.

Kershaw pitched a two-hitter to win his ninth straight decision, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 5-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night.

“You end up counting on him to go at least six,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “If you don’t get to him early, he winds up with a low pitch count. That’s when you start to get spoiled.”

Adrian Gonzalez had three hits and an RBI and Juan Uribe had two hits and two RBIs to help the Dodgers move into first place in the NL West, a half-game ahead of the Giants, who were shut out for the 11th time.

“You don’t take for granted being in first place,” Kershaw said. “We know those guys will be right there with us to the end. We know we have to win a few more games to stay in first.”

Kershaw (12-2) walked one and struck out seven in his ninth career shutout and second this season. It was also his fourth complete game of the year and 15th of his career. The left-hander improved to 12-6 with a 1.40 ERA in 23 career games against the Giants, including 7-2 with a 0.69 ERA at AT&T Park.

“It’s fun to win,” Kerhsaw said. “I’m happy now but if I lose the next time out I won’t be happy. We kept scoring runs and it seems like if I can keep throwing zeroes the first three innings we have a good chance. It’s been holding true.”

Kershaw has made 15 consecutive quality starts against the Giants, the most by a pitcher since Bob Gibson had 16 straight between 1968-72.

Ryan Vogelsong (5-8) retired the first 11 batters before Hunter Pence lost Gonzalez’s double in the sun with two outs in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez followed with an RBI single.

“Vogey has had some tough luck, whether it’s the run support or things going awry,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “The sun played a part in it tonight and it cost us a run.”

San Francisco has been shut out in four of Vogelsong’s last five starts and the right-hander has received an average of two runs per game of support at home, the second-lowest in the NL.

Vogelsong lost his fifth straight decision, matching his longest such streak since 2011.

“I stopped making good pitches is what happened,” Vogelsong said. “I can’t put a finger on it other than I missed some spots and they got some hits.”

Reds 1, Nationals 0

In Cincinnati, Johnny Cueto struck out nine in seven innings, and Brayan Pena singled through a drawn-in infield for the only run, leading the Reds to a victory over Washington that ended a seven-game losing streak.

Cincinnati ended its longest skid in five years by getting several good defensive plays and another dominating performance by its All-Star starter. Cueto (11-6) gave up four hits and walked three.

Cardinals 6, Cubs 3

In Chicago, Matt Adams drove in four runs, A.J. Pierzynski had three hits in his St. Louis debut and the Cardinals beat the Cubs to stop a four-game skid.

Brewers 5, Mets 2

In Milwaukee, Wily Peralta earned his team-leading 12th win, and Mark Reynolds homered in the Brewers’ victory over New York.

Jonathan Lucroy, Ryan Braun and Khris Davis added run-scoring hits for the NL Central leaders.

Rockies 8, Pirates 1

In Denver, Nolan Arenado bounced back from a benching with three hits, including a home run, and Colorado routed Pittsburgh.

Braves 5, Padres 3

In Atlanta, Freddie Freeman had three hits and an RBI, Julio Teheran earned his team-high 10th win and the Braves took advantage of Odrisamer Despaigne’s control problems to beat San Diego.

D-Backs 10, Phillies 6 (10)

In Philadelphia, Martin Prado homered, doubled and drove in five runs, including a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the 10th to lift Arizona over the hosts.

Pinch hitter Nick Evans’ three-run homer capped the Diamondbacks’ four-run 10th inning.


Marlins 7, Astros 3

In Houston, Giancarlo Stanton hit a three-run double, and Jordany Valdespin added a two-run homer to power Miami past the Astros.