Kershaw sharp as Dodgers blank Royals
Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - It wasn't a no-hitter, but Clayton Kershaw turned in another strong performance as the Los Angeles Dodgers took a 2-0 win over the Kansas City Royals in the second of a three-game set.
In his first appearance since his 15-strikeout no-hitter against the Rockies in which the only man that reached base did so on an error, Kershaw (8-2) struck out eight and walked one while giving up six hits in eight innings for his fifth win in as many starts.
"It definitely wasn't easy tonight," said Kershaw. "The fastball command was kind of all over the place. The defense played great."
Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier each drove in a run for the Dodgers, who have won three of four.
Danny Duffy (4-7) dropped his second straight start despite giving up just one run on four hits over six innings for the Royals, who have lost five of six.
The Dodgers jumped on top in the first inning as Justin Turner tripled to start the game. He was held there when Matt Kemp grounded out and Yasiel Puig reached on an infield single, but Gonzalez got him home on a fielder's choice for a 1-0 lead.
Kershaw's bid for a repeat of his past performance came to a quick end as Eric Hosmer singled with one out in the first, but he got Billy Butler to hit into a 5-4-3 double play to end the frame.
Hosmer again singled with one out in the fourth and moved to second on a wild pitch with Alex Gordon at the plate. Gordon eventually worked a walk, but Salvador Perez grounded out to end the inning.
"He's definitely got his gameplan out there," Hosmer said of Kershaw. "Really for me it was just don't let him get to the breaking ball and just get to him early."
Kershaw struck out Justin Maxwell and Alcides Escobar with a man on base in the fifth, then stranded Butler in the sixth after striking out Gordon.
With one out in the seventh, Omar Infante and Danny Valencia singled and a Maxwell fielder's choice left runners at the corners. Escobar, though, grounded out as the Royals stayed off the board.
Kershaw tossed a 1-2-3 eighth inning, and the Dodgers gave themselves some insurance in the ninth.
Gonzalez walked to start the inning and moved to second on an A.J. Ellis single. Ethier then delivered a pinch-hit single for a 2-0 lead.
Kenley Jansen retired the Royals in order in the ninth for his 23rd save of the season.
Kemp went 0-for-3 and had his 11-game hitting streak snapped ... Before the game, the Royals activated pitcher Bruce Chen from the 60-day disabled list, optioned pitcher Tim Collins to Triple-A Omaha and designated pitcher Donnie Joseph for assignment. Chen was on the DL due to a bulging disc in his lower back ... This is the first series between these two teams since the Royals swept a three-game set in Kansas City in 2005 ... Kershaw lowered his earned run average to 2.24. He's allowed just four runs over 37 innings in his past five games.
06/25 02:08:58 ET