Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw delivers a pitch during the Dodgers'… (Reed Saxon / Associated…)
By the time Matt Kemp hit a walk-off home run in the 12th inning to lift the Dodgers to a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, the first eight innings felt as if they had taken place a lifetime ago.
But those first eight innings were about as well pitched as any this season.
On the mound for the Dodgers was Clayton Kershaw, the 2011 National League Cy Young Award winner.
Opposite him was Cliff Lee, who won the American League's version of the prize in 2008.
Kershaw held the Phillies to one run and five hits over eight innings. He struck out seven and walked none.
"He threw a really good game," Lee said.
But Lee was dominant in his own right, limiting the Dodgers to one run and two hits over eight innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Of the two hits Lee gave up, one was a home run to Juan Rivera in the second inning. He was otherwise perfect in the first five innings.
"Cliff works so fast and uses so little pitches that it's almost contagious," Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said. "The guy just keeps pounding the strike zone. Clayton was working the same way."
Javy Guerra returns
Reliever Javy Guerra was reinstated from the bereavement list after spending the last four days in Mexico to be with his ailing father. Stephen Fife, who made his major league debut in a start Tuesday, was sent back to triple-A Albuquerque.
Guerra was charged with two runs in the 10th inning but didn't blame his performance on his hectic last few days.
"Everything that happened today was totally my fault," he said. "I didn't execute."
Guerra's father suffered a heart attack last week and was hospitalized in Nuevo Laredo. Guerra had to make arrangements for his father to be transferred to a more modern hospital in Monterrey so he could undergo heart surgery.
"They didn't have the proper machines," Guerra said. "We had to struggle to find him an ambulance. We couldn't fly him because of the elevation. In Mexico, it's really hard to get an ambulance."
An ambulance with the necessary oxygen tanks was secured Sunday and Guerra's father made the 21/2-hour trip that day. He underwent surgery Monday.
"He called this morning," Guerra said. "He said everything was fine."
Right fielder Andre Ethier was held out of the lineup by Mattingly, who wanted to give him a day off. But Ethier entered the game as a ninth-inning pinch-hitter and ended up playing four innings. … Left-hander Erick Threets was signed to a minor league contract and was assigned to Albuquerque. Threets, 30, last pitched in the major leagues in 2010 with the Chicago White Sox. He requested and was granted his release by the Oakland Athletics last week. Armed with a mid-90-mph fastball, Threets posted a 1.84 earned-run average in 44 innings for the Athletics' triple-A affiliate. … Hello Kitty's bobblehead night earlier this month drew a capacity crowd to Dodger Stadium. So the Dodgers will hold another Hello Kitty-themed night, Sept. 5, and will give out tote bags to the first 30,000 people in attendance.