DODGERS 1, PIRATES 0: Kershaw blanks Bucs
LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw followed up his sensational one-man show on opening day with seven innings of two-hit ball and nine strikeouts in a spirited duel with A.J. Burnett, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat Pittsburgh 1-0 Saturday night for their second straight shutout win over the Pirates.
Kershaw (2-0) walked one and retired 17 consecutive batters after giving up a leadoff single in the first inning to Starling Marte. Last Monday, the 2011 Cy
Young Award winner threw a four-hitter against the World Series champion Giants and broke a scoreless tie with his first major league home run.
Kershaw’s latest gem came one night after Zack Greinke held the Bucs to two hits over 6 1-3 innings in a 3-0 victory.
Brandon League followed Paco Rodriguez and Kenley Jansen out of the bullpen and pitched a hitless ninth for his second save.
Burnett (0-2) was charged with a run and four hits in 5 1-3 innings, walked four and struck out nine — including Matt Kemp all three times he faced him.
The right-hander, returning to the ballpark where he won his major league debut in 1999 with the Marlins, was coming off a 10-strikeout, 3-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs in the Pirates’ opener.
Burnett is 1-7 with a 3.04 ERA over his last nine starts since the beginning of last September, receiving fewer than three runs of support in eight of them — and the Pirates have been shut out four times during that stretch.
Carl Crawford drew a leadoff walk in the Dodgers’ first and stole second, but was stranded there as Burkett struck out Mark Ellis, Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez. Crawford stole second again after his two-out single in the third, and Ellis drove him in with a ground single through the left side.
The Dodgers have won 11 of their last 12 games against the Pirates and eight straight in Los Angeles. The only loss came in their final meeting of last season, when Garrett Jones hit a pair of three-run homers in support of Burnett’s 10-6 victory.
The Pirates haven’t hit a home run through their first five games — tying the 1998 and 1967 squads for the club’s longest drought from the start of a season since the middle of World War II (11 games in 1943). That year they hit only two in their first 26 contests.