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Clayton Kershaw gem helps Los Angeles Dodgers down New York Mets

By
Abbey Mastracco, The Sports Xchange
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22). Photo by Rich Kane/UPI
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22). Photo by Rich Kane/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw continued to rewrite the record books in his 250th career start with a performance that has become typical of the Los Angeles Dodgers' ace. Kershaw spun a complete game shutout and Yasmani Grandal provided the Los Angeles Dodgers with the big hit in a 5-0 win against the New York Mets on Thursday at Dodger Stadium.

"Clayton was Clayton," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "He's a beast. Just completely dominant."

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Kershaw (4-1) allowed three hits, striking out 13. It was his fifth straight game with 10 or more strikeouts, establishing a new Dodgers record. He is three games shy of the major league record. David Wright's first-inning walk was only the fourth free pass Kershaw has allowed all season and his first in four games.

While the number of strikeouts is eye-popping, Kershaw was more concerned with getting efficient outs.

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"As long as you keep your pitch count down, it doesn't matter how you're getting outs," Kershaw said. "Tonight I was able to get deep in the game but strikeouts are not a byproduct of that. They're not important in the grand scheme of things."

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In his last five starts, Kershaw has struck out 56 batters and issued only two walks but he downplayed the importance of the strikeouts.

"I don't know how to explain it other than, walking guys is how you get in trouble," Kershaw said. "I'd rather string hits together and make them swing the bats to beat me. That's just always my mentality. You get behind in counts and things like that and you want them to beat you. So I'm going to hopefully attack them."

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It was Kershaw's 14th career shutout and he's now the active leader in the major leagues. Bartolo Colon, who took the loss on Thursday, is behind him with 13.

Colon (3-2) gave up five runs, all earned, on seven hits striking out two.

Mets manager Terry Collins attributed it to nothing more than an off night for the veteran right-hander.

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"He was losing his command," Collins said. "In the first inning, balls were up, balls were in play and his fastball didn't really have that good life that it usually has."

The Mets pitcher that impressed Collins the most was Sean Gilmartin, the reliever fresh up from the minor leagues. After being called up from Triple-A Las Vegas earlier in the day, Gilmartin pitched two innings of scoreless relief, allowing one hit.

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"He throws strikes and changes speeds," Collins said. "He's got a great changeup and he'll throw it behind in the count. This might have been one of the better sliders I've seen him have."

The two teams split the series and the Mets are now undefeated in their last eight tries.

The Dodgers continue their nine-game homestand on Friday when they open a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Mets will travel to Colorado to play the Rockies in a weekend set.

The Dodgers hit Colon hard right from the onset, giving Kershaw a big cushion to work with. He's 81-0 with four runs or more of support in a game.

Utley singled to lead off the first inning and went first to third on a single to right by Corey Seager, who extended his hitting streak to three games.

With one out, Utley was driven in by Justin Turner's single to left. Two batters later, Grandal smashed a 2-0 fastball deep into the right field stands for a three-run homer. Grandal's third home run of the season gave the Dodgers a 4-0 lead.

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With two away in the second inning, Utley hit a solo home run -- his second of the season -- to make it 5-0.

NOTES: The Dodgers sent RHP Casey Fien outright to Triple-A Oklahoma City. He was removed from the 40-man roster. ... OF Scott Van Slyke (back) is hitting off of a tee and playing short toss. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expects him to be taking batting practice in a week. ... LHP Clayton Kershaw made his 250th career start. ... RHP Mike Bolsinger (oblique strain) made his second rehab start with Triple-A Oklahoma City. ... Mets SS Wilmer Flores was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring injury on Thursday. The injury was sustained Monday but he was able to play Tuesday and could not pinpoint how or where the injury occurred. ... The Mets recalled LHP Sean Gilmartin from Triple-A Las Vegas. He will go into the bullpen to replace RHP Logan Verrett, who is scheduled to take Steven Matz's turn in the rotation on Saturday in Colorado. Matz will miss his next start with elbow/forearm soreness. ... Matz has not undergone an MRI but has been given anti-inflammatories.

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