SAN FRANCISCO -- Clayton Kershaw pitched a five-hitter for his second shutout of the season, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 4-0 Sunday to complete a three-game sweep of the NL West leader.
Luis Cruz drove in two runs, and Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, James Loney and Mark Ellis had two hits apiece for Los Angeles (56-47), which closed within one percentage point of San Francisco (55-46),
Blanked in a three-game series at San Francisco from June 25-27, Los Angeles outscored the Giants 19-3 in this series and didn't give up a run during the final 20 innings.
San Francisco, which has lost four straight, didn't get a runner past second and managed only three hits in the final seven innings. The Giants were swept at home by the Dodgers for the first time since
June 28-30, 2010.
Kershaw (8-6) struck out seven and walked one in his fifth career shutout, beating the Giants for the first time in three starts this season. He lost both previous outings despite allowing just four earned runs in 14 innings.
He survived a scare in the eighth when Marco Scutaro hit a line drive that ricocheted off the pitcher's glove hand. Ellis, the second baseman, retrieved the ball to make the putout as Kershaw tossed his glove to the ground. He met briefly with a team trainer and manager Don Mattingly on the mound, then struck out Brandon Belt to end the inning.
Kershaw was coming off his worst start this season, when he allowed eight runs in 5 2-3 innings during an 8-2 loss at St. Louis.
Ryan Vogelsong (8-5), who had won both of his prior matchups against Kershaw this year, allowed two runs – one earned – and six hits in six innings with five strikeouts and three walks. He lowered his ERA to a major league-leading 2.22.
Los Angeles went ahead with two runs in the fourth following singles by Juan Rivera and Kemp. With runners at the corners and one out, newly acquired Hanley Ramirez grounded to third and beat second baseman Ryan Theriot's relay throw to avoid a double play as Rivera scored. After Scutaro dropped Loney's popup to third for an error, Cruz hit an RBI double.
Vogelsong struck out Kershaw with the bases loaded to end the sixth. The Dodgers added a pair of runs in the eighth against Jeremy Affeldt following a one-out double by Loney. Cruz and Mark Ellis hit RBI singles.
NOTES: Kershaw pitched a six-hit shutout against St. Louis on May 19. ... Loney is hitting .328 in July (21-for-64). ... The first seven hitters in the Dodgers' batting order all had at least one hit. No. 8 batter A.J. Ellis walked three times. ... Cruz has a career-best 12-game hitting streak that is also the longest by a Dodgers player this season. ... LHP Madison Bumgarner goes for his team-leading 12th win for San Francisco in the series opener against the Mets on Monday. ... Aaron Harang (7-5), knocked out in the fifth inning by Arizona on May 22, starts for the Dodgers in the opener of a three-game set against the Diamondbacks.