Kershaw extends streak in historic MVP faceoff
LOS ANGELES -- Scratched twice due to a sore hip, Clayton Kershaw returned to the mound Saturday at Dodger Stadium and still dominated, extending his scoreless innings streak to 37 with a two-hitter over eight innings in a 3-1 Dodgers win over the Angels.
Kershaw struck out seven with one walk, the first he's issued since July 3. He has four consecutive wins for a 9-6 overall record and 2.37 ERA.
"He seemed a little rusty early, honestly, command-wise," said manager Don Mattingly. "But he got better as the game went on." More >
Yasmani Grandal slugged a two-run homer, his 15th, off reliever Fernando Salas in a three-run sixth inning that included singles by Howie Kendrick and Adrian Gonzalez and Scott Van Slyke's sacrifice fly. That chased Angels rookie starter Andrew Heaney, who was charged with two runs over 5 1/3 innings. Heaney was acquired by the Dodgers from Miami last winter and flipped to the Angels for Kendrick.
"You could see the ball maybe was getting elevated, and maybe his command wasn't quite as crisp," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Heaney's sixth inning. "I think Andrew went as far as he could for us this afternoon."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Up-the-middle defense: Second baseman Kendrick and shortstop Jimmy Rollins stole back-to-back hits from Erick Aybar and Carlos Perez with diving plays to help Kershaw contain the Angels in the second inning. Kendrick's included a glove flip while on his stomach for a force at second base. Kershaw helped himself with a running catch of Heaney's bunt attempt and turned it into a double play.
"I was fortunate he bunted it kind of hard and right back to me," said Kershaw. "It's a tough spot for the runner, he doesn't want to get out at second. It was a good play by Howie to be there."
Heaney continues to impress: Although the Angels lost on Saturday, Heaney tied Jered Weaver's franchise record with his seventh consecutive start of five-plus innings allowing two or fewer runs to open his Angels career. After his four-hit effort against the Dodgers, Heaney has posted a 1.97 ERA in 45 2/3 innings since his Angels debut on June 24.
"I thought he pitched really well," Scioscia said. "He had a good game plan, was making pitches. Some weren't called strikes, some were called strikes. He pitched out of trouble a couple of times. … Andrew pitched a terrific game, definitely gave us a chance to win."
Kershaw gets the better of Trout: In a matchup of the two 2014 Most Valuable Players -- Kershaw the National League MVP, Mike Trout the American League MVP -- Kershaw won. Trout struck out looking on a curveball from the Dodgers left-hander in the first inning, grounded into a weak fielder's choice in the fourth and lined out to a diving Yasiel Puig in right field in the seventh.
"He was throwing all his pitches and every pitch was going in [a different] direction -- cutting, sinking, sliding, curving, the whole bit," Trout said. "Felt like I was seeing him pretty good. He jammed me on a couple of pitches, but other than that, it's a tough one." More >
Another save: Fighting off a virus, Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth inning for his 19th save and second in as many games. He allowed a run on two hits, walking one and striking out two.
"I had no chance." -- Heaney, on batting against Kershaw
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Kershaw's matchup with Trout in the first was the first time in history a reigning MVP pitcher faced a reigning MVP batter in a regular-season game.
SCIOSCIA GETS EARLY HEAVE
Scioscia was ejected by home-plate umpire Chris Segal in the second inning for arguing balls and strikes. With one out and a full count on Puig, Heaney threw a 92-mph fastball that missed catcher Perez's inside target -- Perez had to reach back across the plate to catch the pitch -- but still appeared to hit the strike zone.
Segal called it a ball, and as Puig jogged to first, Scioscia started arguing from the dugout -- repeatedly asking, "Where's the pitch?" -- and was tossed. He then came out of the dugout to get his money's worth with Segal at home plate. It was Scioscia's second ejection of the season.
"No doubt it was a strike -- I don't think there's any question," Scioscia said after the game. "Umpires are gonna miss a pitch; if you miss a pitch, just say, 'Hey, I missed a pitch, let's keep playing ball.' That wasn't [Segal's] attitude. I think the ramifications, when you're in tight games, of missing a pitch like that to start an inning and give them a baserunner, it's big."
Angels: Right-hander Cory Rasmus will start Sunday's 1:10 p.m. PT series finale in place of C.J. Wilson, who is on the 15-day disabled list with "left elbow impingement secondary to arthritis" and could miss the rest of the season if he opts for surgery to clean out his elbow. That likely means a staff day for the Angels, who could use righty Drew Rucinski to follow Rasmus.
Dodgers: Mat Latos makes his Dodgers debut in the series finale three days after being acquired from Miami. Since returning from the disabled list (left knee inflammation) on June 13, he has gone 3-3 with a 2.96 ERA (15 earned runs in 45 2/3 innings) and has limited the opposition to a .198 average.
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