LOS ANGELES (AP) ― Clayton Kershaw retired 18 consecutive batters and struck out 12 in eight dominant innings, Carl Crawford homered twice against Kyle Lohse and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers 2-0 on Sunday.
Kershaw (3-2) scattered four hits and didn’t walk a batter while lowering his ERA to 1.73. The 2011 Cy Young Award winner, who led the NL in ERA in each of the previous two seasons, hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his last 18 starts ― the longest active streak in the majors. The last time he did was July 24, 2012, when he gave up eight at St. Louis.
Kershaw stranded runners in scoring position in each of the first two innings, retiring Jonathan Lucroy on a double-play grounder in the first and striking out Martin Maldonado to end the second. He gave up a leadoff double in the eighth to Carlos Gomez, who tried to advance on a broken-bat comebacker to Kershaw and was tagged out by third baseman Jose Uribe in a rundown.
Kershaw’s string of consecutive outs began after Rickie Weeks’ bloop double leading off the second.
Milwaukee’s only other hits were one-out singles in the first by Jean Segura and Ryan Braun. It was the left-hander’s fifth game with at least 12 strikeouts.
Kershaw began the season with 4-0 and 1-0 wins over San Francisco and Pittsburgh, allowing no runs over 16 innings. On opening day, he threw a complete-game four-hitter.
Brandon League pitched a perfect ninth inning for his eighth save in nine chances.
Crawford drove Lohse’s first pitch of the game over the center field fence. It was the fourth time that the right-hander gave up a home run to his first batter in 336 career starts ― and the first one that came on his very first pitch. Crawford’s second homer came on an 0-2 count and landed in the right field pavilion. It was his sixth multihomer game in the majors and first since July 8, 2010, for the Tampa Bay Rays against Cleveland’s Jake Westbrook.
Reds avoid sweep, sink Nats
WASHINGTON (AP) ― Tony Cingrani struck out a career-high 11 ― including four in one inning ― while pitching two-hit ball through the sixth, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Washington Nationals 5-2 Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep.
Brandon Phillips had a two-run single as the Reds (14-12) improved to a major league-worst 2-9 on the road.
Cingrani (2-0) pitched three perfect innings before Denard Span reached base to lead off the fourth ― on a strikeout and wild pitch. Danny Espinosa followed with a double, but Cingrani struck out three more hitters to escape the inning without allowing any runs.
In doing so, Cingrani joined Joe Nuxhall, Mario Soto, Tim Birtsas and Frankie Rodriguez as the only Reds with a four-strikeout inning.
Cingrani also became the first Cincinnati rookie to strike out 10 in a game since Johnny Cueto struck out 10 San Diego Padres on July 22, 2008, and the first left-handed Cincinnati rookie to do so since Dennys Reyes struck out 12 Pittsburgh Pirates on August 20, 1998.
The Reds, who had one hit in each of the series’ first two games, found enough offense Sunday to lead from the first inning onward.
Cincinnati had four infield singles, and not only did No. 9 hitter Cingrani and No. 8 hitter Corky Miller score after their infield hits, Miller scored on an infield hit by Zack Cozart.
Joey Votto provided the Reds’ only extra-base hit, a first-inning double that set the stage for Phillips’ two-run single.
NY Yankees 3, Toronto 2
Philadelphia 5, NY Mets 1
Miami 6, Chicago 4
Boston 6, Houston 1
Tampa Bay 8, Chicago 3
Minnesota 5, Texas 0
Pittsburgh 9, St. Louis 0
Oakland 9, Baltimore 8
Seattle 2, LA Angels 1
San Diego 6, San Francisco 4
Arizona 4, Colorado 2
Detroit 8, Atlanta 3
Kansas City 9, Cleveland 0 Gm. 1
Cleveland 10, Kansas City 3 Gm. 2