Clayton Kershaw gave up nine hits, walked three and struck out nine over… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )
This is not called gearing up. Not called rising to the challenge.
And it's certainly not called starting your stretch run, unless stumbling backward qualifies.
The Dodgers returned home Thursday night, sent out their reigning Cy Young-winning pitcher and it still didn't matter.
The Arizona Diamondbacks, who had lost their last six consecutive games, downed the Dodgers 2-0, dropping them a season-high 4 1/2 games back in the National League West.
Clayton Kershaw pitched well, the only runs he allowed coming on Chris Young's two-run homer just inside the left-field foul pole in the fourth inning.
Kershaw just didn't pitch as well as Arizona's Ian Kennedy, who kept the Dodgers scoreless in his 6 1/3 innings, holding them to just two hits.
The Dodgers have now lost four of their last five, and seven of their last 10.
Of such runs, divisions are not won.
Kershaw (12-8) went six innings and was hit fairly hard. He gave up nine hits, walked three and struck out nine.
The Dodgers trail the Giants in the NL West by four games in the loss column, with 30 games to play.
They play two more at home against the 65-67 Diamondbacks, who have now beaten the Dodgers seven consecutive times.
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