News

Kershaw dominates Braves to give Dodgers lead

Kershaw dominates Braves to give Dodgers lead

PITCH PERFECT: Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (23) and right fielder Yasiel Puig (center) celebrate after defeating the Atlanta Braves in game one of the National League divisional series playoff. Photo: Reuters

(Reuters) – A dominant pitching performance by Clayton Kershaw paved the way for the Los Angeles Dodgers to beat the Atlanta Braves 6-1 in game one of their National League Division Series on Thursday.

Kershaw, whose 1.83 ERA during the regular season was the best in the majors by a starting pitcher in more than a decade, bamboozled Atlanta’s usually powerful batting line-up.

Despite taking a while to find the zone, Kershaw allowed just one run on three hits in seven innings to give his side a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

He struck out six successive batters at one point and finished with 12 strikeouts in 124 pitches, the third highest number of strikeouts by a Dodger in post-season play.

“It might be the best (performance), just because it’s my first post-season win,” Kershaw told reporters. “This one definitely has special meaning to me for sure.”

Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly said it was common for Kershaw to improve during the course of a game.

“Hes the best pitcher in the game. We all know it,” added Kershaw’s team-mate Adrian Gonzales. “It’s amazing the things he can do out there.”

Gonzales played his part in the Dodgers’ win, slugging a two-out, two-run home run over centerfield in the top of the third inning to give his team a 4-0 lead.

The Braves managed just five hits and struck out 15 times, looking a pale shadow of the team who had an impressive 56-25 home record during the regular season.

Atlanta’s starting pitcher Kris Medlen lasted just four innings in his second post-season game, giving up nine hits and five runs.

It was a total team effort by the Dodgers, as seven players managed at least one hit to give Mattingly his first post-season victory as a major leagues manager.

Game Two will be in Atlanta on Friday.

Recent Headlines

in Sports

SNF on KPUG: Jay Cutler rallies Bears past 49ers in fourth

Fresh
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler throws before a preseason NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, in Seattle.

The Bears beat the San Francisco 49ers 28-20 Sunday night to spoil their Levi's Stadium debut.

in Sports

The Associated Press Top 25

Updated
football genric image

The Top 25 teams in The Associated Press college football poll

in Local Sports

Gates’ 3 TD catches carry Bolts to 30-21 upset

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers talks with tight end Antonio Gates, left, during warmup before facing the Arizona Cardinals in an NFL preseason football game Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in San Diego.

San Diego Chargers controlled the tempo to keep Seattle's offense off the field

in Sports

NFL week 2 scoreboard

A football before the first half of an NFL preseason football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, in Green Bay, Wis.

All the scores from week 2 in the National Football League

in Sports

USA wins basketball worlds, 129-92 over Serbia

United States team Basketball World Cup, pose for the media before their match against Finland, the third match, Group C, which begins the Basketball World Cup, in Bilbao northern Spain, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. The 2014 Basketball World Cup competition take place in various cities in Spain from Aug. 30 through to Sept. 14.

Kyrie Irving made all six 3-pointers and scored 26 points, and the U.S. repeated as world champion for the first time by crushing Serbia 129-92 on Sunday in the Basketball World Cup.