Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw pitches in the bottom of the first inning… (Mike McGinnis / Getty Images )
The Dodgers went old school to snap their three-game losing streak and quell the call for Manager Don Mattingly’s head (at least for a day).
They beat the equally struggling Milwaukee Brewers Monday, 3-1, getting their major contributions from Clayton Kershaw, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp.
Just like the good ol' days, or at least the ol' days.
Kershaw was again absolutely masterful, holding the Brewers to three hits and a walk, and just generally controlling Milwaukee’s hitters all night. All three hits he allowed were singles.
Mattingly did not test his shaky bullpen on this night, getting a determined complete game effort from Kershaw. It was his 10th career complete game and second this season.
Kershaw, who threw 132 pitches in his last outing, struck out a fairly modest five and lowered his major-league low ERA to 1.35 and raised his record to 5-2. It took him a tidy 107 pitches.
He was supported by the Dodgers' former big duo of Ethier and Kemp, the offensive cornerstones before new stars were added to the lineup.
Both have struggled to get going this season, but Ethier tripled off Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo in the second inning to drive in Kemp. The ball was awkwardly played by right-fielder Norichika Aoki and then took a favorable bounce for the Dodgers.
Milwaukee tied it in the third, the only time Kershaw really had to work. He walked Rickie Weeks and gave up a single to Yuniesky Betancout to open the inning. A sacrifice bunt and an Aoki groundout scored the run.
But the Dodgers got the run back in the fourth inning when Andre Ethier launched a solo homer deep into the Miller Park right-field second deck. It was his fourth home run of the season.
Kemp had not homered in 97 plate appearances before his sixth-inning blast off Gallardo to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead. It was his second of the season.
It wasn’t like the Dodgers suddenly found their offensive stride — they were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position, but there were eight hits. There was no bullpen meltdown allowed.
And a little distance was placed between the Dodgers and that nightmare sweep in Atlanta.