Local Sports

Dodgers Topple Cubs

Clayton Kershaw racked up a season-high 13 strikeouts over eight dominant innings, and Zach McKinstry hit a grand slam in the second inning of Los Angeles' 7-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night.

 

Kershaw wrapped up the eighth inning and left the mound to a standing ovation from the Dodger Stadium crowd after a performance measuring up to the best in his remarkable career.

 

Those wild cheers quickly turned to boos when umpires inspected him for foreign substances, but Kershaw only smiled and then waved his cap as the roar returned.

 

Cody Bellinger homered in his second straight game and drove in three runs in the Dodgers' third consecutive win over Chicago after four Cubs pitchers combined for a no-hitter in the series opener Thursday.

 

Kershaw (9-7) yielded four hits while flummoxing the Cubs with his slider, recording his highest strikeout total in a regular-season game since July 2017 and getting a season-high 26 swings and misses.

 

Kershaw and the Dodgers are surging forward again after a week that began with a few steps backward for the defending World Series champions.

 

Javier Baez hit his 18th homer for the Cubs, who haven't won a series at Dodger Stadium since 2014. Anthony Rizzo also left in the fourth with lower back tightness.

 

Kershaw lasted just one inning at Wrigley Field last month in the shortest start of his 14-year career, but the 33-year-old left-hander was spectacular in the rematch.

 

He didn't get into a three-ball count until the sixth, and he issued his only walk in the seventh. He matched his highest strikeout total since he struck out 13 Brewers to wrap up last fall's NL wild-card series on the way to his first World Series title.

 

McKinstry's first career grand slam was the Dodgers' first hit after they loaded the bases with two walks and a hit batsman against Adbert Alzolay (4-7).

 

Three batters and one inning-prolonging error later, Bellinger followed up Saturday's walk-off homer with a two-run shot off Alzolay, who yielded six runs on five hits over three innings in his third consecutive defeat.

 

Sergio Alcantara got into the Cubs' first three-ball count against Kershaw in the sixth, but Kershaw struck him out any way to set a new season-high.

 

Mookie Betts tripled and scored on Bellinger's sacrifice fly in the sixth.

 

Kyle Hendricks (10-4, 3.84 ERA) pitches Monday in Milwaukee to open a three-game set.

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