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Clayton Kershaw's performance in Dodgers' 3-1 win provides a beam of hope

Kershaw wins his 13th game, giving up one run on four hits in eight-plus innings while striking out nine and walking none.

September 24, 2010|By Jim Peltz
(Christian Petersen / Getty…)

Reporting from Phoenix — In a season replete with disappointment, the Dodgers are looking for bright spots wherever they can — and Clayton Kershaw was about as bright as it gets Friday night.

The 22-year-old left-hander became the Dodgers' first 13-game winner this season after holding Arizona scoreless for eight innings as the Dodgers defeated the Diamondbacks, 3-1, at Chase Field to start their final trip of the season.

Kershaw was perfect through 3 2/3 innings and started the ninth inning poised to record what he hoped would be his second shutout in his last three starts.

But after Chris Young led off with a single and scored on Tony Abreu's double, Manager Joe Torre lifted Kershaw and brought in rookie reliever Kenley Jansen, also 22, who struck out the last two batters for his second save of the season.

"Not walking guys helped," said Kershaw, who struck out nine Diamondbacks. "They also were hitting some balls hard right at people. It was just one of those nights."

Kershaw also passed the 200-inning mark for the season for the first time in his career while making his career-high 32nd start.

"I don't set a lot of goals at the beginning of the season," Kershaw said. "As long as we win, I don't really care what I do individually. But the 200-inning thing is cool."

The Dodgers scored their first run in the third inning when Arizona starter Barry Enright, a former Pepperdine University player making his first start against the Dodgers, walked A.J. Ellis.

Ellis scored two outs later on a triple by Trent Oeltjen, who played 24 games for the Diamondbacks last year and was among the Dodgers minor leaguers called up this month.

Andre Ethier's triple down the right-field line in the fourth inning led to the Dodgers' second run when Ethier tagged and scored on Jay Gibbons' sacrifice fly.

Reed Johnson added a solo home run in the ninth inning against Arizona reliever Jordan Norberto.

Monasterios' role

Rookie Carlos Monasterios has been an occasional starter and a relief pitcher this year, so might he be more suited to one role or the other next season?

"I don't know, I don't have to make that decision," joked Torre, who is stepping down as manager after this season. Kidding aside, "we're trying to figure it out," Torre said of the 24-year-old Venezuelan.

Monasterios has started 12 games and made 19 relief appearances, and the right-hander is 3-5 with a 4.09 earned-run average.

Torre also said "it wouldn't hurt him to get another pitch" in addition to his fastball and changeup.

"That other pitch in the middle — I don't know what it's going to be, [a] slider, curveball, whatever it is — he needs something in between," Torre said.

Short hops

Jansen has not given up a run over his last eight appearances and his ERA is a paltry 0.76. ... Oeltjen started in center field in place of Matt Kemp, but Torre later put Kemp in the game. Kemp remains the only Dodger who has appeared in all of the team's 154 games. "I asked him if it was important for him, and it was, so that's good enough for me," Torre said.

james.peltz@latimes.com

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