PHOENIX – It’s almost September and Clayton Kershaw loaded the bases for the first time all season.
Of course, nobody scored.
Kershaw allowed only an unearned run in eight innings to become the first 16-game winner in the majors, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 on Wednesday night.
Kershaw (16-3) allowed six hits, retiring 12 of the final 13 batters he faced, seven by strikeout, to improve to 13-1 in his last 16 starts.
The left-handed ace struck out 10 and walked two.
Kershaw was unaware he hadn’t faced a bases-loaded situation all year.
“I blew that streak I guess,” he said.
His teammates didn’t know about it either.
“A pretty shocking stat,” Scott Van Slyke said, “but not really.”
Manager Don Mattingly called it a surprising fact, then added “but nothing surprises me about him anymore.”
Kershaw leads the majors in wins despite spending five weeks on the disabled list.
Van Slyke hit a solo home run off Wade Miley (7-10) before leaving the game with an ankle injury in the fourth inning. Matt Kemp had a two-run double.
Kenley Janzen pitched a perfect ninth for his 38th save in 42 tries.
The Dodgers, sweeping the two-game series, climbed to a season-high 18 games above .500.
Kershaw reached double digit strikeouts for the third straight outing and his major league best ERA dropped to 1.73.
“It is kind of hard to describe unless you are up there,” Arizona’s Mark Trumbo said, “but his heater plays as hard as anyone you will see, even though velocity-wise it isn’t as hard. It is everything. It is his curveball when he gets on top of it. It starts way up there and goes way down, but everything is set up by his fastball.”
Los Angeles scored all three of its runs in the third.
Phillies 8, Nationals 4
In Philadelphia, pinch hitter Grady Sizemore hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth inning, helping the Phillies complete a three-game sweep.
Marlon Byrd hit a two-run homer and Jimmy Rollins hit a solo shot to back Kyle Kendrick (7-11). The right-hander allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings.
Last-place Philadelphia went 7-2 on its best homestand this season.
Denard Span was 3-for-4 and fell a triple short of the cycle for Washington. Doug Fister (12-5) allowed a season-high 10 hits and five runs — four earned — in 5⅔ innings.
Braves 3, Mets 2
In New York, Jason Heyward hit a leadoff home run off Zack Wheeler, and Julio Teheran won his third straight start.
Hayward connected on Wheeler’s third pitch of the game for his 11th homer this season. After Wil Flores’ home run tied the score in the second, the Braves went ahead for good in the third.
Phil Gosselin reached on a bunt single, Freddie Freeman doubled, Justin Upton hit an RBI groundout and shortstop Ruben Tejada allowed Evan Gattis’ two-out bouncer to pop out of his glove for a run-scoring error.
Reds 7, Cubs 5
In Cincinnati, Skip Schumaker drove in a pair of runs with a double and a single, and the Reds withstood Jorge Soler’s first at-bat homer and his RBI single.
Soler, a 22-year-old prospect from Cuba, was called up Wednesday after getting a nine-year, $30 million deal from the Cubs in 2012. He started in right field and batted fifth.
Giants 4, Rockies 2
In San Francisco, Buster Posey hit a game-ending two-run homer for his third clout in two nights, sending the Giants past Colorado for Bruce Bochy’s 1,600th managerial victory.
Posey sent an 0-1 pitch from Juan Nicasio (5-6) just inside the left-field foul pole for his 18th homer of the year and second career walkoff homer. He also had one on May 3, 2013, against the Dodgers.
Pirates 3, Cardinals 1
In Pittsburgh, Ike Davis hit a two-run homer off a speaker above the seats in right-center field, Jeff Locke outpitched Adam Wainwright and the Pirates beat St. Louis.
Pittsburgh took two of three from the defending NL champions and has won five of seven overall. St. Louis (71-61) leads the NL wild-card race, with San Francisco (69-62) trailing by 1½ games and the Pirates (69-64) one game back of the Giants for the second wild-card berth.
Davis hit his 10th homer in the second after Wainwright hit Russell Martin on the left elbow with a pitch that Martin barely tried to avoid. Davis sent a 141-kph pitch clanking off a speaker raised on a pole about 5 meters above the seats, a drive estimated at about 132 meters. A night earlier, Davis had a pinch-hit, tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning of Pittsburgh’s 5-2 win.
Locke (6-3) allowed one run and six hits in 7⅓ innings, giving up Matt Holliday’s third-inning homer. Locke also singled in the third and scored on Andrew McCutchen’s sacrifice fly, just the 11th hit for the pitcher in 98 career at-bats.
Mark Melancon pitched a one-hit ninth for his 24th save in 28 chances.
Padres 3, Brewers 2 (10)
In San Diego, Rene Rivera tied the game with a home run in the ninth inning, then won it with an RBI single in the 10th as the Padres beat Milwaukee.
Rivera opened the ninth inning with his ninth homer, a shot off Francisco Rodriguez, to tie the score 2-2.