LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw held the D-backs without a hit through 6 1/3 innings and Justin Turner homered as the Dodgers fended off a late rally en route to a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
Kershaw's no-hit bid was broken up by Chris Owings' infield single in the seventh, after first baseman Cody Bellinger tried to field a ball headed to second baseman John Forsythe, and Kershaw wasn't able to handle Forsythe's throw and make it to first base in time.
"Where [Bellinger] was at," manager Dave Roberts said, "[and] where the second baseman was at, it was kind of in no man's land, so you don't know if you're going to continue to sell out and get it or just give up on it and hope the second baseman has a enough time to get there. It's one of those tough plays and there's no right or wrong answer on that one."
The southpaw stayed in the game to strike out Brandon Drury, but ran into a jam after a single from Chris Iannetta, pushing runners on the corners. Kershaw, however, was able to pitch out of the frame, getting Daniel Descalso to ground out to finish his night with 117 pitches, 11 strikeouts and earning his Major League-leading 13th win.
"There's such a good team over there," Kershaw said. "They battled me. My pitch count got up a little bit. A lot of foul balls, a lot of grind at-bats over there for them. I thought my offspeed stuff was good tonight. I had some decent fastball command as well. Any time I'm able to do that, I hope for success and thankfully it worked out tonight."
Arizona would put together a ninth-inning rally, after Kenley Jansen surrendered his second homer of the year, a three-run shot by Descalso to cut the D-backs' deficit to one. Jansen followed that by issuing a walk to pinch-hitter Jake Lamb, but battled back to strike out Chris Herrmann.
"We have a great team," Iannetta said. "We really do. We believe in the guys we have in the clubhouse, we believe in every one of our guys. We faced one of the best tonight and he pitched masterfully throughout the entire game, but we still had our chances. When you face a guy like that sometimes you're going to get to him and sometimes you're not. Statistics would say the majority of the time you won't."
The Dodgers racked up nine hits, with Turner providing Kershaw early run support by hitting a first-inning RBI single to left field off Arizona's Patrick Corbin and lifting a leadoff homer to center in the third, giving the Dodgers a 2-0 advantage. Yasmani Grandal went 3-for-4 on the evening, adding two RBI singles.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Making a statement: On the same day the first update from the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote ballot was released, Turner -- leading the pack in the National League -- made a bold statement in the first inning. The 32-year-old third baseman belted Corbin's 94.3 mph fastball off the top of the left-field wall. Turner settled for a RBI single, putting the Dodgers up, 1-0. More >
Stopping a threat: The game changed quickly for Kershaw after Owings' infield single. Iannetta's single put runners on the corners with two outs and Kershaw's pitch count had reached triple digits, but the three-time Cy Young Award winner induced a grounder to second, getting Descalso out to extinguish the D-backs' threat. More >
"At least for me I think he had a game plan for just about every hitter," Owings said. "I saw all sliders tonight. He mixed his stuff, he's throwing some more offspeed than he usually does and you've got to keep that heater in the back of your head because he still throws 93-94 mph. I feel like he pitched every single hitter differently tonight."
"Any time you're in the division, these guys see you a lot. You have continually make pitches, there's so secret anymore. We've seen these guys a lot, just they like have us, and it'll continue to be that way, not to mention they have a lot of good hitters on their team. One of the top three teams in the National League right now. It really doesn't change anything for what I'm trying to do, just makes the execution that more important." -- Kershaw
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Not being able to hit against lefties had been an issue for the Dodgers, but Turner's leadoff homer in the third off Corbin was the Dodgers' 38th dinger off a left-handed pitcher this season, after the team only had 37 last year.
A single by Iannetta that was hit sharply in the seventh to left field forced a tag play at third, and Turner initially seemed to tag Owings out to end the inning. Third base umpire Vic Carapazza ruled Owings safe and the Dodgers challenged the call. After reviewing the play, the call was upheld and Owings stayed at third.
D-backs:Zack Godley gets the start for the D-backs in the second of the three-game series Wednesday night against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Godley has appeared in five games, one as a starter, against the Dodgers in his career and has a 2.45 ERA with a .135 opponent's batting average. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. MST.
Dodgers:Alex Wood (9-0) will look to keep his unbeaten record intact on Wednesday night against Arizona. The lefty faced the D-backs on April 21, tossing 4 2/3 innings and allowing seven hits. The southpaw is 3-3 in his career vs. Arizona with a 3.60 ERA. First pitch slated for 7:10 p.m. PT.
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