LOS ANGELES (AP) — 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 39-11 mark.
“Obviously, we just got slapped by the best team in baseball,” Royals starter Danny Duffy said.
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.
“He was Clayton-esque,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He had everything working.”
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.
“It would feel good to go out there and keep on winning games,” Kershaw said.
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.
“No walks really makes me happy,” Duffy said. “Strikeouts were there, I just didn’t execute on a couple of pitches.”
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.
“Definitely not how we wanted to end the break,” Hosmer said. “If anything, it was a bit of a wake-up call for us to see how good they are playing and we have to realize that we can’t make key mistakes.”
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.
The Dodgers’ 5-4 victory in 10 innings on Saturday ended on four consecutive walks without an out or a hit recorded. That hadn’t happened since June 6, 1962, at Wrigley Field, according to Elias Sports Bureau. San Francisco’s Don Larsen walked the Cubs’ Lou Brock and Bob Will to open the ninth. After a wild pitch, Larsen intentionally walked Andre Rogers to load the bases and ended the game with a walk to Don Landrum for a 4-3 Chicago victory.
Royals: RHP Nate Karns, on the DL since May with thoracic outlet syndrome, will see a specialist after the All-Star break.
Dodgers: C Yasmani Grandal’s swelling in his left hand went down after leaving Saturday night’s game early, but he didn’t start Sunday and is day-to-day.
Royals: RHP Jason Hammel (4-8, 5.04 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday’s opener at home against Texas. He allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings of a 4-1 loss last Friday against the Dodgers.
Dodgers: RHP Brandon McCarthy (6-3, 3.12) starts the opener of a three-game series at Miami on Friday
Source: Fox Sports