As well as Clayton Kershaw has pitched this season, it was surprising to see him have a poor outing Wednesday night. It wasn’t a surprise that it came at Chase Field.
Undone by his own defense in one inning, Kershaw allowed more than one run for only the second time in his seven starts, giving up four in just five innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks, leaving in a tie game.
For the second night in a row, the Dodgers needed 10 innings to beat the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks, scoring twice in the 10th to win 6-4.
With the win, the Dodgers’ magic number to clinch their eighth consecutive NL West title fell to 12.
The no-decision aside, Kershaw has a losing record at Chase Field (7-9), one of only two ballparks where he has lost more than he has won (he is also 1-2 in three starts at Wrigley Field). Only three of the four runs Wednesday were earned but his ERA at Chase Field is now 3.95. Kershaw has a higher ERA at just two other parks where he has made more than one start — Coors Field (4.60 in 22 starts) and PNC Park (3.98 in seven starts).
But most of Kershaw’s troubles Wednesday weren’t his fault.
The Diamondbacks scored three times in the second inning. It started with a bunt single (against the shift) followed by another infield single when a ground ball hit third base. Kershaw walked Daulton Varsho to load the bases with no outs.
One run scored on a ground out and the next on a sacrifice fly. Kershaw’s costliest mistake of the inning was a 1-and-1 fastball to Tim Locastro. Locastro split the left-center field gap for an RBI triple.
The Dodgers covered that with solo home runs by Mookie Betts and Kiké Hernandez in the first two innings then took the lead with a two-run fourth. Hernandez had an RBI single for the 4-3 lead.
But Kershaw found himself in trouble again in the fifth when Corey Seager committed a throwing error on a ground ball by the speedy Locastro. Nick Ahmed followed with a double into the right-field corner that Betts first bobbled then threw wildly over home plate, Locastro scoring the tying run.
A four-time Gold Glove winner, Betts has now made four errors in 41 games with the Dodgers this season, one short of matching his career-high from a full 162-game season.
After packing six hits (including those two home runs) and two walks into the first four innings, the Dodgers’ offense took a long nap. They had just one hit (an eighth-inning single by A.J. Pollock) from the fifth through ninth innings.
They came back to life long enough in the 10th to win the game. Seager started the inning as the free runner at second base. A wild pitch moved him to third and Chris Taylor singled him home with the go-ahead run. After a walk to Max Muncy, Pollock singled in a second run.
Kenley Jansen threw a season-high 31 pitches while giving up three runs in the bottom of the 10th inning Tuesday night. So it was Blake Treinen who closed out Wednesday’s win, handling the last of five one-hit scoreless innings by Dodgers relievers in Kershaw’s wake.