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Clayton Kershaw not thrilled with his pitching performance

The Dodgers starter gets his 10th win of the season, limiting the Miami Marlins to two runs and three hits in 6 1/3 innings. Kershaw is upset because of his failure to complete seven innings.

August 11, 2012|By Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times
  • Clayton Kershaw allowed two runs on three hits and struck out seven in 6 1/3 innings Friday.
Clayton Kershaw allowed two runs on three hits and struck out seven in 6 1/3… (J Pat Carter / Associated…)

MIAMI — — Clayton Kershaw got his 10th win of the season Friday night and catcher A.J. Ellis said the Dodgers' left-hander was as dominating as he has been at any point this season.

Kershaw's assessment of his performance in the Dodgers' 5-2 victory over the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park was less flattering.

"It was kind of a battle," he said. "I didn't have good fastball command. I kind of broke all the cardinal rules you can't really break — walking leadoff guys, giving up runs when it should be a shutdown inning, giving up an early lead, stuff like that. But the team picked me up today."

Kershaw was particularly upset at his failure to complete seven innings. He pitched 6 1/3, holding the Marlins to two runs and three hits. He struck out seven.

Told of Kershaw's self-appraisal, Ellis said, "He's hard on himself. That's what makes Clayton great. He wants to be perfect every time. But I can tell you he was really good tonight."

Two batters into the bottom of the first inning, Kershaw served up a solo home run to Justin Ruggiano.

"Stupid," Kershaw mouthed to himself.

So who called the stupid pitch?

"I made the poor choice," Ellis said. "Then he made the poor choice of not shaking me off."

Jokingly, Ellis continued, "I was testing him to see if he was smart enough to not throw that pitch. He failed."

But Kershaw retired the next 14 batters he faced.

"I kind of got into a groove there in the middle innings," Kershaw said. "I think I started mixing everything in there. I was kind of going with everything. I got some quick outs. I was really trying to pound the strike zone."

When a couple of softly hit balls in the infield resulted in the Marlins loading the bases, Kershaw limited the damage to one run. He forced Ruggiano to hit a grounder to third baseman Jerry Hairston Jr., who threw home for a forceout. Carlos Lee hit a sacrifice fly to drive in a run that cut the Dodgers' lead to 4-2 and Giancarlo Stanton flied out to left field to end the inning.

"The cheap little infield hits cost him pitches and outs," Ellis said. "He could have been out there for at least eight."

The win was Kershaw's third in a row.

Kennedy activated

Utility man Adam Kennedy was activated from the disabled list, adding to Manager Don Mattingly's list of options at third base. Kennedy took the roster spot of outfielder Jerry Sands, who was sent to triple-A Albuquerque.

Hairston started there Friday. Luis Cruz has also played there recently.

"I'm thinking of being able to mix and match there," Mattingly said. "With AK, it gives me the left-handed side of that."

Kennedy, who was sidelined because of a strained groin, could also spell Mark Ellis at second base.

"I have to give Mark Ellis some days off," Mattingly said.

Mattingly reiterated that Juan Uribe will continue to have a minor role in the team, citing the third baseman's lack of offensive production.

"We're down to our last 49 games and we've got to win games," Mattingly said.

Short hops

Mattingly said he views Bobby Abreu as a potential left-handed bat off the bench in September, when active rosters expand. Abreu, 38, accepted an assignment to Albuquerque earlier in the week. … Matt Guerrier pitched a simulated game at the Dodgers' spring training complex in Arizona. He has been sidelined since mid-April with elbow problems.

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