Kershaw, Dodgers breeze to 8-0 win over Braves
LOS ANGELES (AP) Big leads aren't common to Clayton Kershaw, who has lost more than his share of low-scoring duels over the years despite all the hardware he has earned. So when he gets as much run support as he did Tuesday night he tries to show his appreciation to his teammates.
Kershaw combined with two relievers on a five-hitter and capped a six-run fourth inning with an RBI single, Adrian Gonzalez notched his 1,000th RBI with a two-run homer, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 8-0.
''You never want to relax, regardless. You never want to take your foot off the gas,'' Kershaw said. ''I mean, when you have six or seven runs to work with, you definitely have more margin for error. But you don't want to walk guys and make your defense be out there for a long time. So you just stay aggressive - attack, attack, attack - and see what happens.''
Kershaw (3-3) allowed four hits, struck out 10 and walked none while lowering his ERA to 3.86. The reigning NL MVP and three-time Cy Young Award winner is 16-0 with a 1.21 ERA in his last 20 starts against NL East teams.
''He didn't look like a guy who had a 4-plus ERA coming in,'' Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ''Maybe he's starting to get back on track a little bit.''
Kershaw retired his first 12 batters - including Pedro Ciriaco and Jace Peterson, who tried to bunt their way on leading off the third and fourth innings, respectively. Jonny Gomes was 0 for 3 against the left-hander with two strikeouts, and is 2 for 16 lifetime against Kershaw with 8 strikeouts.
''He was throwing 94 (mph), 95. And when he gets that curveball over, it makes for a long night because it makes his fastball that much better,'' Gomes said.
Julio Teheran (4-2) gave up eight runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings against the two-time defending NL West champions, who have won four of five after getting swept in a three-game series at San Francisco by a combined margin of 10-0.
One night after they hit three home runs in the eighth inning against reliever Nick Masset in a series-opening 6-2 win, the Dodgers gave Kershaw plenty of support with their most productive inning of the season. It included RBI doubles from Howie Kendrick and A.J. Ellis, a two-run double by Andre Ethier, and a run-scoring single by Justin Turner in addition to Kershaw's first RBI of 2015.
''It was one bad inning,'' Teheran said. ''I'm going to have to keep working to get back to where I want to be, the way I was the last two years.''
Adrian Gonzalez became the 12th active player with 1,000 RBIs, when he hit his 10th homer of the season into the pavilion in left field on Teheran's 85th and final pitch after Kendrick's one-out single in the fifth.
''A thousand obviously is an accomplishment. It means you've been in the league for a little while,'' Gonzalez said. ''Just got to thank God for the opportunity to stay healthy and have the amount of at-bats so I could get there. It does definitely mean a lot. Career wise I'd like to see 1,500.''
Ciriaco was a late addition to the Braves' lineup, after third baseman Alberto Callaspo was scratched for the second straight night with the Braves trying to engineer a multiplayer trade with the Dodgers for third baseman Juan Uribe. According to MLB.com, Callaspo told the Braves that he was willing to accept the trade, which is awaiting the approval of Commissioner Rob Manfred.
The Braves wouldn't comment afterward, and no one in the Dodgers' organization confirmed the trade, either. But a few clubhouse attendants were cleaning out Uribe's locker after most of the reporters had left.
''I'm not going to be able to charge room service to his room anymore,'' Gonzalez joked. ''We had a little back and forth going on there. He's been great. Everybody here loves him. He'll definitely be missed, that's for sure.''
Braves: LHP Alex Wood (2-2) will be pitching on 10 days' rest after missing Friday's scheduled start against Milwaukee because of a stomach virus. In his eight starts, he has allowed two home runs in 47 innings - but will be facing a Dodgers offense that leads the NL with 61 homers. Wood allowed one earned run over seven innings in his previous start, a 5-3 win at Miami on May 16.
Dodgers: RHP Zack Greinke (5-1) has allowed just three earned runs in 28 1-3 innings over his last four starts, lowering his ERA to 1.48, but is winless in his last three outings.