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Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw looks great, but Javy Guerra gets work

The starter doesn't give up a run through eight innings, but Manager Don Mattingly decides closer should finish up. Guerra gives up a run but gets his 10th save in 10 opportunities.

August 18, 2011|By Jim Peltz
  • Javy Guerra, shown pitching against Philadelphia in June, surrendered one run in the ninth inning but sealed the Dodgers' 5-1 victory over Milwaukee on Thursday
Javy Guerra, shown pitching against Philadelphia in June, surrendered… (Hunter Martin / Getty Images )

Reporting from Milwaukee — — Clayton Kershaw had not given up a run through eight innings Thursday, he had thrown 104 pitches and the Dodgers had a 5-0 lead over the Milwaukee Brewers.

But Kershaw would not get the opportunity for a shutout.

Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly chose to bring in rookie reliever Javy Guerra, who is 10 for 10 in save opportunities, to pitch the ninth inning. Guerra surrendered one run but sealed the Dodgers' 5-1 victory.

"Javy needed an inning" of work, Mattingly said, adding that if Kershaw had gotten into any trouble in the ninth inning, "then we start getting to that 115-, 120- [pitch-count] range and then you've got Javy coming in with guys all over the place."

The goal was to not overtax Kershaw and "give Javy some breathing room," Mattingly said.

Asked whether he wanted to try for the complete game, Kershaw replied, "I would have sure liked to. Not my call, though."

Catcher Rod Barajas said, "Stuff-wise, [Kershaw] didn't seem like he was tired at all. But it is what it is. They decided to go with Javy, and Javy needs some work too. He didn't pitch this whole series."

Barajas' home run

Don't look now, but Barajas has more home runs this season than Andre Ethier.

With two out in the second inning, Barajas launched a fastball from Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada over the left-field wall at Miller Park for his 11th home run of the year. Ethier has 10.

"I worked the count in my favor, 3-1 count, and I'm looking for a fastball that I can drive," Barajas said. "He just laid it in there — not wanting to walk me — and I was able to just get enough of it."

Blake's sore shoulder

Casey Blake was expected to be out of action for at least a couple of days after suffering soreness in his right shoulder.

The problem was related to a sore neck that Blake has suffered in recent weeks and was aggravated when the third baseman backhanded a grounder Wednesday and threw across the diamond to first base.

The action stretched a nerve in his neck and the pain went into his shoulder, Blake said. "It's frustrating."

McCourt wins in court

A lawsuit against Dodgers owner Frank McCourt by the law firm that drew up his marital property agreement was thrown out by a Boston judge Thursday.

The firm Bingham McCutchen sued McCourt in April, claiming he had refused to pay legal bills because of alleged malpractice and asking for a ruling that the firm had done nothing to warrant a malpractice lawsuit.

McCourt is expected to sue Bingham for malpractice if McCourt loses control of the Dodgers.

In 2004, Bingham attorney Larry Silverstein prepared the marital property agreement that McCourt relied upon to establish his sole ownership of the Dodgers. But in divorce court, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon threw out the agreement, saying he could not tell from the documents exactly what the McCourts had intended. Gordon's ruling led Jamie McCourt to stake her claim to half-ownership of the Dodgers.

Short hops

When Kershaw reaches 200 strikeouts this season — he needs one more — he will be the first Dodger to achieve the feat in back-to-back seasons since Kevin Brown in 1999-2000. Kershaw had 212 strikeouts last year.... Kershaw has a 1.38 earned-run average in his last eight starts.... Matt Kemp singled in the eighth inning to extend his hitting streak to eight games; he also stole his 33rd base of the season.

james.peltz@latimes.com

Times staff writer Bill Shaikin contributed to this report.

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