PHOENIX — Clayton Kershaw has performed several on-field miracles in his five-plus major league seasons.
But on Friday night, the Dodgers asked him to do the mathematically impossible: Win a game in which they didn't back him with a single run.
Kershaw was almost as effective on this night as he was in his two previous starts, limiting the Arizona Diamondbacks to a single run over the first seven innings at Chase Field. That effort was squandered by the Dodgers, who left 10 men on base and dropped a 3-0 decision.
BOX SCORE: Arizona 3, Dodgers 0
"You really hate to waste a performance like that from Kersh," Manager Don Mattingly said.
The Dodgers had the hitters they wanted at the plate with men on base in the eighth inning.
Down by a run with one out, Matt Kemp singled to left field. He advanced to second base, then third, on a pair of wild pitches by Diamondbacks reliever David Hernandez.
Adrian Gonzalez drew a walk to put men on the corners.
National League batting leader Carl Crawford was sent in to pinch-hit for Juan Uribe but struck out. Andre Ethier ended the inning by grounding out to first base.
The Dodgers trailed 1-0 for most of the game. The Diamondbacks moved ahead in the fourth inning, when consecutive singles by Gerardo Parra and Martin Prado put men on the corners. Paul Goldschmidt grounded into a double play, but that was enough to push a run home.
The run was the first charged to Kershaw this season. The Diamondbacks didn't score again until the eighth inning, but Kershaw lamented his inability to command his curveball.
"It was a battle for me tonight," he said. "I was basically pitching with the fastball for most of the night."
In the eighth inning, Kershaw gave up hits to Jason Kubel and A.J. Pollock, then walked Parra to load the bases with one out.
Mattingly removed Kershaw, who was clearly upset by the decision. Kershaw was replaced by Shawn Tolleson, who was called up from triple-A Albuquerque Friday to take Zack Greinke's place on the active roster.
Tolleson learned of his promotion at 2 a.m.
Tolleson faced two batters and walked them both, forcing in a pair of runs that increased the Diamondbacks' lead to 3-0.
The Dodgers were 6-12 against the Diamondbacks last season, 3-6 at Chase Field.
"They've been beating us," Kershaw said. "They've beaten us a lot here. So we've got to figure it out."