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Dodgers give Clayton Kershaw lots of support in 13-2 win over Cardinals

Left-hander benefits from outburst that includes two home runs by Rod Barajas and Matt Kemp's 29th home run to pick up his 16th victory.

August 23, 2011|By Jim Peltz
  • Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw reaches out to field a hit by the Cardinals' David Freese during the fourth inning of the Dodgers' 13-2 victory Tuesday.
Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw reaches out to field a hit by the Cardinals'… (Jeff Roberson / Associated…)

Reporting from St. Louis — All season, the Dodgers repeatedly have given their pitchers little run support, a key reason why their record stands well below .500.

But on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium, where it was 91 muggy degrees when the game began, the Dodgers pounded St. Louis Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse for eight runs in the first three innings, including Matt Kemp's three-run home run.

Catcher Rod Barajas launched home runs in consecutive at-bats, the second one a three-run shot, to give the Dodgers an 11-0 lead after 41/3 innings.

With ace Clayton Kershaw throwing six scoreless innings, that meant the Dodgers couldn't ask for much better, and indeed they cruised to a 13-2 win with four home runs, their most this season.

"You pick the right day to pitch sometimes," Kershaw said. "That was awesome."

Kershaw, 23, not only recorded his 16th win — tying him for the league lead with Ian Kennedy of the Arizona Diamondbacks — but also struck out eight batters to give him 207, the second consecutive year he has surpassed the 200-strikeout mark. He had 212 last season.

"I don't care," Kershaw said. "Outs are outs as far as I'm concerned, I'm not worried about how I get them."

Things were so bad for the Cardinals that they had infielder Skip Schumaker pitch the ninth inning and he served up a two-run home run to third baseman Aaron Miles, a former Cardinal.

Coincidentally, Miles was the last position player to pitch for St. Louis, in 2010.

"I've played catch with Schu probably about 1,000 times, so I know exactly what [the ball] looks like coming out of his hand," Miles said.

The last time the Dodgers had scored 13 runs was June 27, when they beat the Twins in Minnesota, 15-0.

Rookie Justin Sellers opened Tuesday's game with single, James Loney walked and Kemp smashed his career-high 29th home run to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead after only 13 pitches.

The crowd let out a chorus of boos.

The Dodgers kept up the attack with a four-run second inning when Jamey Carroll singled, Sellers doubled, Loney singled, Kemp doubled and Juan Rivera singled.

Barajas got in on the action with a home run in the third inning and his three-run shot in the fifth against Mitchell Boggs. Barajas, Sellers and Carroll had three hits apiece.

Kershaw "didn't have his best stuff today," Barajas said. "But when you're able to score those runs, I'm sure he didn't feel like he has to be perfect. That was great to jump out in front."

james.peltz@latimes.com

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