|Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano avoids an inside pitch in the sixth inning on Sunday. (AP-Yonhap)|
LOS ANGELES (AP) ― Clayton Kershaw completed a spectacular June with 13 strikeouts during seven innings of five-hit ball, and Andre Ethier hit a three-run homer in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 6-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.
Kershaw (9-2) extended his career-best scoreless streak to 28 innings in his first home start since throwing his first career no-hitter June 18 against Colorado. The left-hander went 6-0 with an 0.82 ERA in June, yielding four runs in 44 innings and striking out 61.
Matt Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez had run-scoring hits for the Dodgers, who took three of four from St. Louis in a rematch of last season’s NL championship series.
With 12 wins in 16 games, Los Angeles (47-37) has pulled virtually even with the slumping Giants (46-36) atop the NL West.
The Dodgers were 9 1/2 games behind San Francisco on June 8, but erased the entire deficit in three weeks.
Ethier capped Los Angeles’ four-run fifth inning with a shot to right off Shelby Miller (7-7) for his first homer since May 27.
Matt Carpenter had three hits for the Cardinals, who were shut out twice in the four-game series.
But St. Louis had little chance on another dominant day for Kershaw, who hasn’t allowed a run since June 13. His 28-inning scoreless streak is the fifth-longest in franchise history, trailing only a who’s-who of Dodgers luminaries: Orel Hershiser, Don Drysdale, Don Sutton and Sandy Koufax.
Kershaw’s bid for back-to-back home no-hitters lasted exactly two pitches before Carpenter lined a single to left. Although he walked two and retired the side in order just once, Kershaw never allowed a runner to reach third base while getting at least one strikeout in each inning of work.
Miller gave up seven hits and six runs in five innings for St. Louis, which is among the few teams with a history of success against Kershaw. The two-time Cy Young winner entered the game just 4-5 with a 3.75 ERA against the Cardinals, including a dismal performance in a 9-0 loss last October in the NLCS.
Gonzalez got the Dodgers’ first hit in the fourth inning by bunting into the wide-open space near third base created by the Cardinals’ severe defensive shift. After Kemp drove in Yasiel Puig, Gonzalez scored on Juan Uribe’s sacrifice fly. Morales, Twins beat Rangers 3-2
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) ― Kendrys Morales slapped a line drive away from the Texas shift, landing it just inside the foul line in left field where the only person close to it was a security guard scrambling to get out of the way.
A deft leap from the guard kept the ball in play and sent the Twins on their way to ending a 10-game road losing streak.
Morales’ tiebreaking double in the top of the ninth off Texas closer Joakim Soria brought in pinch-runner Sam Fuld from first base in a 3-2 Minnesota victory Sunday.
After the security guard dodged the ball with his right foot, the carom off a brick wall just missed his left foot as the ball rolled into shallow left field, a long way from Texas’ Michael Choice.
A ground-rule double would have forced Fuld to stop at third instead of scoring easily, and Soria (1-3) struck out the final two hitters of the inning.
“We got a couple of breaks, and we won the ballgame,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Kyle Gibson (7-6) matched a career high by going eight innings and scattering eight hits. Glen Perkins struck out the side in the ninth for his 20th save in 23 chances.
Robinson Chirinos had three hits for Texas, including his seventh homer of the season in the fifth inning for a 2-2 tie.
Josh Willingham’s second hit got the winning rally started with one out in the ninth before he was replaced by Fuld. The Twins had lost the first five games on a six-game road trip after winning four straight on a brief homestand.
“It was a big game for us after a tough road trip,” said Gibson, who had a 22-inning scoreless streak snapped when he allowed seven runs in just two innings to start the trip at the Los Angeles Angels. “All I did was try to give my team a chance to win and turn things around.”
Chicago White Sox 4, Toronto 0
Oakland 4, Miami 3
Tampa Bay 12, Baltimore 7
Atlanta 3, Philadelphia 2
Pittsburgh 5, NY Mets 2
Kansas City 5, LA Angels 4
Colorado 10, Milwaukee 4
Houston 6, Detroit 4
Cincinnati 4, San Francisco 0
Seattle 3, Cleveland 0
San Diego 2, Arizona 1
Boston 8, NY Yankees 5