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Clayton Kershaw felt strong – if not quite effective – in his return from the disabled list.

That was good enough for the Los Angeles Dodgers. They had muscle to spare against the New York Mets.

Kershaw and Jacob deGrom stumbled in an unexpected ace showdown Shayne Gostisbehere Jersey , Matt Kemp hit a pinch grand slam and the Dodgers won 8-3 on Saturday night.

The Dodgers have won 11 straight against the Mets dating to May 2016, matching their best run in the rivalry. Los Angeles beat New York 11 straight times in 1963-64.

Kershaw gave up two runs over three innings in a surprise return from a lower back strain. He threw 55 pitches, starting out strong before laboring through his final inning.

”Good to be back,” Kershaw said. ”Now I can focus on getting better.”

Left-handed rookie Caleb Ferguson (1-1) replaced him and escaped a couple tight situations over four scoreless innings for his first major league win.

DeGrom (5-3) allowed three earned runs in six innings, including Max Muncy’s 14th home run in the first. He entered the game with a major league-leading 1.51 ERA and hadn’t allowed three earned runs in a game since April 16 against Washington.

New York has lost five straight overall and 12 of 13 at home. The Mets have scored four or fewer runs in 15 straight home games dating to May 20. Some fans at Citi Field were wearing paper bags over their heads by the end of the game.

”It was tough tonight,” said Brandon Nimmo, who had three hits for New York.

Kemp cleared the bases during a five-run eighth inning with his eighth career slam and 13th home run this season. Chris Taylor had a key two-run pinch double, and Los Angeles won for the 24th time in 33 games.

KERSHAW BUILDING UP

Kershaw was scheduled to make a rehab start with Triple-A Oklahoma City at Omaha, but Los Angeles decided Friday to have him pitch in New York because of precarious weather in Nebraska. The lefty ace had been sidelined since June 1.

Kershaw was electric in the first inning, freezing leadoff man Nimmo on a curveball for a three-pitch strikeout and catching Todd Frazier looking for a five-pitch K.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner wasn’t as sharp after that. Michael Conforto and Jose Bautista lined consecutive doubles in the second inning to tie it at 1, and Kershaw threw 25 pitches in the third inning http://www.officialislanders.com/authent...ech-jersey , including an RBI single by Wilmer Flores to put New York ahead 2-1.

Kershaw struck out four, walked one and allowed five hits before Taylor hit for him in the fourth. Kershaw was expected to be limited to roughly 60 pitches, and he threw an extra simulated inning inside after being replaced.

”The most important thing, he came out of it feeling good, feeling strong,” manager Dave Roberts said.

FERGUSON’S ”GOOD TREND”

Ferguson struck out six, walked one and allowed three hits. The 21-year-old worked out of trouble in the fifth and seventh innings. The latter jam emerged when Cody Bellinger badly misplayed Nimmo’s low liner to center, leading to a one-out triple. Ferguson then struck out Frazier and got Asdrubal Cabrera to ground out.

Ferguson dropped his ERA from 7.59 to 5.52 in his first career relief appearance – he’d previously made three starts. Roberts said Ferguson has shown a ”good trend” of looking more comfortable with each outing.

”He’s handling himself considerably better each time out there,” Roberts said.

JOEY BATS

Bautista hit a solo homer off Yimi Garcia in the eighth inning, his fourth this season.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler (4-1, 2.63) is still dealing with soreness from a right rib microfracture. Buehler nixed a scheduled bullpen session Saturday Authentic Brock Nelson Jersey , and Roberts said he may throw it Sunday if there’s improvement. … LHP Adam Liberatore was optioned to Triple-A to make space for Kershaw.

UP NEXT

LHP Rich Hill (1-2, 4.99) starts the series finale for the Dodgers. Jason Vargas was supposed to start for New York, but the Mets placed him on the DL with a strained calf late Saturday night. The team expected to name a replacement starter early Sunday.



Follow Jake Seiner at

Not that long ago, the Chicago Cubs probably viewed a series against the Cincinnati Reds as a near-guaranteed way to pick up some quick victories and gain some ground in the National League Central standings.

Those days have changed. And so is the Cubs-Reds rivalry.

The Cubs couldn’t hold a multi-run lead for the second straight night, and the Reds won their fifth in a row and eighth in 10 games — quite a run for a team that played .250 ball for the first month-plus of the season — by rallying for a 6-3 victory on Friday night.

Now, the Cubs are expected to ask their bullpen to carry them through the third game of the four-game series Saturday at Great American Ball Park — a series that isn’t going much like most of those Cubs-Reds matchups for the last four seasons.

Going into the series, the Cubs were 43-19 against the Reds since 2015, but the Reds are playing much differently now than they did when they were 8-27 on May 7. They’re 4-0 on their current homestand, even though they still remain well below .500 at 30-45.

“Even when we were losing, they (his veteran players) felt like, ‘We’re a good ballclub Cal Clutterbuck Jersey , we’re going to get our share (of wins),'” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. “(When) we’re on a roll like this, they feel like we’re just going to keep going with it.”

Eugenio Suarez lifted his average to .304 by going 3-for-4 with a go-ahead two-run homer in the fifth inning off Jose Quintana (6-6) and Joey Votto had two hits and an RBI. Quintana gave up four runs and nine hits in five innings.

“We’re playing really good baseball,” Suarez said. “We’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing — and keep winning. If we play like this, something good is going to happen.”

The Cubs scored three times against Reds starter Luis Castillo (5-8) in 5 2/3 innings — Kyle Schwarber hit a two-run homer in the fourth — but former Cleveland Indians pitcher Kyle Crockett pitched out of a two-on jam in the sixth in his Reds debut.

The Cubs managed only four hits in the game, David Hernandez pitched two scoreless innings and Raisel Iglesias finished in the ninth for his 12th save.

The Cincinnati bullpen has pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings in the series so far.

“That was one of the cleaner games we’re played — offensively, defensively, we ran the bases well … and got timely hits,” Riggleman said. “When you do that, you’re probably going to win.”

Now, the Reds have the improving Anthony DeSclafani (2-1) pitching Saturday. The right-hander missed the first two months of the season with an oblique injury after sitting out all of last season with an elbow injury Calvin de Haan Jersey Kids , but he has won his last two starts while lowering his ERA from 7.60 to 4.20.

He’s 2-2 in seven career starts against the Cubs, and he handles Chicago cleanup hitter Anthony Rizzo (2-for-20, .100) especially well.

It’s expected to be a bullpen game for the Cubs, with former Reds pitcher Luke Farrell (2-2) making his first start of the season and only the second of his major league career. The longest he has pitched this season was five shutout relief innings during the Cubs’ 7-1, 14-inning victory over the New York Mets on June 2.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon stayed with his recent experiment of using slugger Kris Bryant as a leadoff hitter — he was 9-for-24 (.375) with three RBIs in that spot going into the game — but he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

“He gets on base a lot, he’s possibly one of the best baserunners on the team,” Maddon told reporters. “It’s one of those things — preconceived notions — that you get hung up on. But I like what he’s doing. When the bottom of the order has been productive, there’s a potential for a lot of baserunners in the one-hole.”

Only there wasn’t any such potential Friday as the Cubs’ No. 7-8-9 batters were a combined 0-for-9. It also didn’t help that Rizzo went 0-for-4 and stranded three runners.

And, now, suddenly the Cubs-Reds rivalry isn’t what it used to be.
01-15-2019 09:46 AM
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