With Sandy Koufax watching on a 94-degree day, Clayton Kershaw was a model of efficiency in tossing a six-hitter.
”I wanted to do it for him,” Kershaw said.
The left-hander became the majors’ first 14-game winner, Justin Turner homered twice, and the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Kansas City Royals 5-2 on Sunday to complete their major league-best 10th sweep and sixth straight victory.
Kershaw struck out 13 on 99 pitches, becoming the first pitcher in major league history to strike out at least that many in a complete game with fewer than 100 pitches.
”It was a good way to end the first half,” he said after his first complete game of the season and 25th of his career. ”It felt good to get out there and finish a game.”
The streaking Dodgers head into the All-Star break owning baseball’s best record of 61-29. They’ve won 18 of their last 19 at home, where they lead the majors with a
Kershaw (14-2) allowed two runs and six hits and walked none to set the Dodgers’ record for most wins at the break. The old mark of 13 was held by Orel Hershiser, who had 13 in 1988, the last time the franchise won the World Series.
The seven-time All-Star, who won’t pitch in Tuesday’s showcase in Miami, has made 13 straight starts without a loss, going 10-0 with a 1.98 ERA and the Dodgers winning every game.
Roberts said Kershaw won’t pitch in the series at Miami after the All-Star break, giving him an extended rest.
Duffy (5-5) gave up five runs and six hits in seven innings of his first career start at Dodger Stadium, located 150 miles from his hometown of Lompoc. He struck out nine and didn’t walk anyone.
Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer went 3 for 4, drove in two runs and scored a run while extending his hitting streak to 15 games, but the Royals lost their third in a row.
Turner tuned up for his first All-Star appearance by going 2 for 4 and driving in three runs. His two-run homer made it 4-0 in the third after Logan Forsythe’s RBI single scored Trayce Thompson, who tripled leading off.
Turner’s first homer came in the first. Austin Barnes also homered in the sixth.
The Royals trailed 4-2 on Hosmer’s two-run homer in the fourth that barely eluded Thompson’s glove stretched over the wall in left-center. Lorenzo Cain scored after singling for the Royals’ second hit off Kershaw.