News

Kershaw dominates Braves to give Dodgers lead

Kershaw dominates Braves to give Dodgers lead

PITCH PERFECT: Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (23) and right fielder Yasiel Puig (center) celebrate after defeating the Atlanta Braves in game one of the National League divisional series playoff. Photo: Reuters

(Reuters) – A dominant pitching performance by Clayton Kershaw paved the way for the Los Angeles Dodgers to beat the Atlanta Braves 6-1 in game one of their National League Division Series on Thursday.

Kershaw, whose 1.83 ERA during the regular season was the best in the majors by a starting pitcher in more than a decade, bamboozled Atlanta’s usually powerful batting line-up.

Despite taking a while to find the zone, Kershaw allowed just one run on three hits in seven innings to give his side a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

He struck out six successive batters at one point and finished with 12 strikeouts in 124 pitches, the third highest number of strikeouts by a Dodger in post-season play.

“It might be the best (performance), just because it’s my first post-season win,” Kershaw told reporters. “This one definitely has special meaning to me for sure.”

Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly said it was common for Kershaw to improve during the course of a game.

“Hes the best pitcher in the game. We all know it,” added Kershaw’s team-mate Adrian Gonzales. “It’s amazing the things he can do out there.”

Gonzales played his part in the Dodgers’ win, slugging a two-out, two-run home run over centerfield in the top of the third inning to give his team a 4-0 lead.

The Braves managed just five hits and struck out 15 times, looking a pale shadow of the team who had an impressive 56-25 home record during the regular season.

Atlanta’s starting pitcher Kris Medlen lasted just four innings in his second post-season game, giving up nine hits and five runs.

It was a total team effort by the Dodgers, as seven players managed at least one hit to give Mattingly his first post-season victory as a major leagues manager.

Game Two will be in Atlanta on Friday.

Latest Headlines

in Sports

This week’s top sports shots

AP477743932569_4

A look at some of this week's biggest plays and best moments in sports.

in Music

This week’s top rock tracks

Zac Brown as Zac Brown Band performs during Music Midtown 2014 at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sep. 20, 2014, in Atlanta.

LISTEN: This week's top rock songs, according to the latest Billboard chart.

in Sports

This weekend’s sports schedule

lebronjames

Here's a look at some of this weekend's biggest sporting events.

in Entertainment, Sports, Viral Videos

WATCH: Getting married by The Rock

19-overlay7

It's normal to cry at weddings, but you'll laugh at this one too.

in Sports

Aaron Hernandez has a new, mystery tattoo

aaronhernandez

There were two "appearances" from former NFL player and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez in court yesterday.