CHICAGO (AP) – Clayton Kershaw might not have been as sharp as usual coming off a rare nine-day gap between starts.
Then again, the Dodgers’ ace is awfully good, even when he’s not at his best.
Kershaw pitched seven innings for his major league-leading 15th victory and the Los Angeles Dodgers edged the Chicago White Sox 1-0 on Tuesday night for their 10th straight victory.
Kershaw (15-2) made his first start since the All-Star break, allowing seven hits and a walk to post his 11th win in a row.
“I was little rusty tonight,” said Kershaw, who struck out seven and lowered his ERA to 2.07. “The fastball command wasn’t great the first few innings. It got a little better as we went along. Nine days off is definitely not something I’m used to. I’m thankful to get out of this unscathed and get the win.”
The Dodgers, with the best record in baseball at 65-29, have won 30 of 34 – the best 34-game stretch in the franchise’s rich history. This is the second 10-game winning streak of the season for the NL West leaders.
Relievers Pedro Baez and Kenley Jansen closed it out. Jansen survived a deep fly by Matt Davidson to record his 24th save in 24 chances.
Chris Taylor had four hits and scored on rookie Cody Bellinger’s single in the first inning off Miguel Gonzalez (4-9), who lasted six innings and induced three of the Dodgers’ four double plays.
Both teams struggled with runners in scoring position, with the Dodgers going 1 for 10 and the White Sox 1 for 8.
“To me, we won a baseball game, which is the most important thing, but you’re not always gonna be able to escape games like this,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “So, you gotta cash in. I expect us to be better offensively tomorrow.”
Chicago’s best chance off Kershaw, who had not allowed more than six hits in a game since a no-decision on May 28, came in the sixth.
With runners on first and third and one out, Tyler Saladino bunted a safety squeeze attempt into the air for an easy play by catcher Yasmani Grandal, then Kershaw ended the rally by getting Yolmer Sanchez to ground out.
“If you look at the line tonight, domination, but it’s all relative with Clayton because he’s so special,” Roberts said. “When everything isn’t synced up, you think something’s wrong. But he is human and he’s not perfect, but he still finds a way to go out there and give us quality innings.”
LATE SCRATCH, LATER TRADE
White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier was originally listed in the lineup before being scratched about 40 minutes before game time.
Frazier, along with relief pitchers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle, were informed after the game of the trade that sent them to the New York Yankees in exchange for three minor leaguers and relief pitcher Tyler Clippard.
“Over the last few weeks, we spent a considerable amount of time surveying the market for each of these players individually and decided the more prudent path to acquiring more talent similar to what we have over the last several months, the best path to acquiring the most potential impact talent, was to bundle these players together,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said.
Dodgers: Veteran left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu (left foot contusion) will throw a four-inning simulated game on Wednesday then rejoin the Dodgers crowded rotation next week. “It could be Monday, it could be Tuesday,” Roberts said. “He feels good but now we have to find a way to drop him in.”
White Sox: INF/OF Leury Garcia (sprained finger) is expected to begin a rehab assignment in the next couple of days, according to White Sox manager Rick Renteria. He originally injured the finger on June 11 but wasn’t placed on the 10-day DL until June 20.
Dodgers RHP Kenta Maeda (7-4, 4.38 ERA) and White Sox LHP Carlos Rodon (1-2, 4.32 ERA) are set to start the series finale on Wednesday. Maeda made two relief appearances in June and could be battling to stay in the rotation. Rodon will make his fourth start since returning from the 60-day DL.
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