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Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Clayton Kershaw pitched into the ninth, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 3-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Kershaw (13-10) nearly went the distance, carrying a two-hitter after eight innings. He ran into some trouble in the ninth, allowing the first two hitters to reach before exiting, and ended up giving up four hits and one run while fanning nine without walking a batter.
Reed Johnson added a homer, while Trent Oeltjen hit an RBI triple in the victory, only the Dodgers' third in nine games.
The Diamondbacks, coming off a three-game sweep of the playoff hopeful Rockies, managed just three other baserunners aside from Kelly Johnson's two singles. Barry Enright (6-6) was dealt the hard-luck loss -- his fourth straight -- after lasting eight innings and giving up two runs, five hits and a walk.
The Dodgers produced all the offense they needed with a a run apiece in the third and fourth.
A.J. Ellis worked a leadoff walk off Enright, though the next two hitters were retired without a problem. Oeltjen, however, tripled to right to put the first run on the board.
Los Angeles added a run in the fourth when Andre Ethier tripled leading off and came around to score on Jay Gibbons' sacrifice fly.
Kershaw did the rest.
The lanky lefty set down the first 11 hitters he faced, striking out five, until Kelly Johnson singled with two away in the fourth. Mark Reynolds flied out to end the frame, and Kershaw struck out the first two batters of the fifth before John Hester reached on an error.
The miscue didn't affect the score, however, as Kershaw induced a pop out from Cole Gillespie to keep Arizona off the board.
After a perfect sixth, Kelly Johnson notched the Diamondbacks' second hit with a leadoff single in the seventh. Kershaw, though, retired the next three hitters, including two via strikeout.
Kershaw tossed a perfect eighth, and Reed Johnson homered in the ninth to add an insurance run. Arizona finally got its offense going in the ninth, as Chris Young singled leading off and scored on Tony Abreu's double.
Kenley Jansen came in from the bullpen and got Kelly Johnson to pop out, but walked Stephen Drew. He came back to strike out both Adam LaRoche and Ryan Church to end the game and earn his second save.
The Dodgers have dominated the season series, 11-2...The Diamondbacks had a four-game home win streak snapped...Kershaw lowered his earned run average to 2.91...Game time: 2:26.
(Sports Network) - The 2010 campaign hasn't gone as hoped for the Arizona Diamondbacks, but the team has certainly been doing its best to try to close out strong.
Fresh off a series sweep of a postseason contender, the Diamondbacks continue their final homestand of the season tonight with the first of three straight meetings with the Los Angeles Dodgers from Chase Field.
Arizona is buried in last place in the National League West and entered its home set with the Colorado Rockies having lost 12 times in a 15-game span. The Diamondbacks bounced back in a big way, however, and dealt a severe blow to Colorado's playoff hopes by winning all three matchups of the series.
The Diamondbacks had to hang on in Thursday's finale, however, surviving a late comeback attempt by the Rockies to post a 10-9 triumph.
Stephen Drew led a 14-hit Arizona attack by going 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBI. Kelly Johnson also had three hits, including a two-run homer, for the Diamondbacks, who built an 8-2 lead after six innings before staving off the Rockies down the stretch.
Carlos Gonzalez's grand slam in the top of the seventh brought Colorado within two runs, but Drew and Chris Young came through with solo homers to extend Arizona's lead to 10-6 heading into the ninth. Those runs would prove beneficial, as the Rockies scored three times against relievers Aaron Heilman and Juan Gutierrez in their final at-bat.
Colorado cut the deficit to 10-8 on Gonzalez's two-run single and scored once more later on to make it a one-run game. However, Gutierrez managed to strike out Melvin Mora with two men aboard to close out the contest and register his 12th save of the year.
"I give the guys credit for putting themselves in a position and grinding through it," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "Was it ideal, would we have liked it to be easier? Of course we would, but you don't determine those things. It's the game, it's the way it is."
The victory was the fourth in a row at home for the Diamondbacks. The club has not won five straight at Chase Field since a seven-game streak there from Sept. 15-28, 2008.
Los Angeles comes in having dropped six of its past eight tests and is in danger of its first losing season since 2005, but did produce a positive result in last night's game with San Diego. The Dodgers knocked the Padres out of first place with a 3-1 win behind eight outstanding innings from starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda.
Kuroda (11-13) limited San Diego to the one run and just five hits while fanning four in a crisp 98-pitch performance. Hong-Chih Kuo then came on to strike out the side in the ninth to earn his 10th save and help the Dodgers avoid a three-game sweep by the visiting Padres.
"Hiroki had great stuff in the bullpen before the game, so going into the game I expected him to pitch well," Dodgers catcher Rod Barajas remarked.
Andre Ethier was the hitting star for Los Angeles, coming through with an RBI double in the first inning and a run-scoring single in the third that snapped a 1-1 tie. The Dodgers tacked on an insurance run when Barajas drew a bases- loaded walk in the sixth.
Even after last night's win, Los Angeles is still a subpar 6-14 so far in September. A few games against the Diamondbacks could help improve that record, considering the Dodgers have won 10 of 12 matchups with Arizona this season and are 5-1 at Chase Field in 2010.
Clayton Kershaw has fared quite well when facing Arizona this year as well, having gone 2-0 with an excellent 1.64 ERA in three previous 2010 encounters with tonight's opponent. The young southpaw, who gets the call for the Dodgers in the opener, struck out eight over 5 2/3 scoreless innings in his team's 14-1 rout of the D-Backs at Chase Field back on July 3.
Kershaw is 12-10 with a very solid 2.98 ERA for the season, but was not at his best in Sunday's start against Colorado. The former first-round pick lasted only four innings and was tagged for six runs (four earned) and issued four walks. That performance followed up a gem against San Diego on Sept. 14 in which he yielded four hits and no walks for his first career shutout.
In five career starts versus Arizona, Kershaw is 2-1 with a 3.20 ERA.
Rookie Barry Enright takes the mound for the Diamondbacks tonight seeking to end his recent troubles. The right-hander has permitted 17 runs and 22 hits over a combined 12 2/3 innings in losing his past three starts.
The long ball has been the source of Enright's struggles, as he's served up a whopping nine homers over the course of his skid. Two of those came in a 3 2/3-inning stint at Pittsburgh on Saturday in which he was battered for six runs on six hits.
Enright, who's 6-5 with a 3.87 ERA in 15 starts since being called up from Triple-A Reno in late June, has never previously faced the Dodgers. In eight home starts this season, he's 4-3 with a 3.40 ERA.