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Clayton Kershaw ends it in style as Dodgers win finale, 5-1

Ace left-hander gives a gutty eight-inning effort to lower his earned-run average to 2.53, the best in the majors.

October 03, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw struck out eight Giants on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw struck out eight Giants on Wednesday at Dodger… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)

The day after, they counted their blessings. Anyway, they tried their little best.

The 2012 Los Angeles Dodgers, last team eliminated from the postseason on Tuesday night, played their final game of the season Wednesday afternoon, mostly because it was required.

It’s understandable if their spirits were lagging, but out they went, even leaving with a 5-1 victory behind a final tough performance by Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw gave up only one run in his eight innings to finish with a 2.53 earned-run average -- best in the major leagues.

If his overall numbers are not exactly equal to last season when he won the NL Cy Young, they are not that far behind. He still ended up near the top of most pitching statistics.

Kershaw struck out eight Giants to finish the season with 229 strikeouts -- just one behind NL leader R.A. Dickey. Mostly because of poor run support, Kershaw’s final record for the season is 14-9.

In his breakout season last year, Kershaw finished 21-5, with a 2.28 ERA and 248 strikeouts.

The Giants actually scored first Wednesday, when new nemesis Marco Scutaro singled in the fourth inning and scored on a double to the wall by Pablo Sandoval.

But the Dodgers tied the score in the fifth inning after Scutaro dropped a Luis Cruz blooper for an error. Catcher Tim Federowicz then collected the Dodgers’ first hit of the night off Ryan Vogelsong to send Cruz to third.

Kershaw drove in the tying run with a single up the middle.

The Dodgers took the lead in the sixth when Andre Ethier doubled and scored on a single by Adrian Gonzalez, who ended the season on a 15-game hitting streak.

The Dodgers’ reserves had some fun, adding three runs in the eighth inning. Alex Castellanos hit the first home run of his career, and after an Elian Herrera single, Juan Rivera crushed a two-run homer off reliever Jean Machi.

The Dodgers finished the season 86-76, four games better than last season, but eight games back of the Giants in the NL West.

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