MLB: Clayton Kershaw dominates Cubs batting, scores 13 strikeouts

LOS ANGELES – Clayton Kershaw completed 13 strikeouts in eight innings and Zach McKinstry hit a grand slam to propel the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 7-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night.

Cody Bellinger hit a home run in a second straight game and produced three runs in the Dodgers’ third straight win over the Cubs. The Chicago team had won the first game of the series on Thursday when four of its pitchers joined forces for a game without a point or a hit.

Kershaw (9-7) pitched just one inning on his last start at Wrigley Field last month, but he recovered dramatically on Sunday.

The 33-year-old veteran allowed just four hits, mystifying the Cubs hitters with his slippery ball. He had his highest strikeout total in season since July 2017.

Kershaw didn’t bump the ball counter to three until the sixth inning, and he offered his only walk of the game in the seventh.

The left-hander received a standing ovation from the crowd as he came off the pitch in the eighth. Screams from the crowd turned into boos as the referee inspected Kershaw at random to see if he was using illegal substances to modify the balls.

The spectators were however smiling again when the pitcher greeted them while raising his cap in the air.

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

Before McKinstry’s first career grand slam, the Dodgers had completed the goals with two walks and a batter hit by Adbert Alzolay (4-7).

McKinstry hit his second home run in three days.

Bellinger made it 6-0 with his home run before the end of the second set.

Baez scored the Cubs with his solo homer to center field in the fourth.

Mookie Betts slammed a treble in the sixth and it came to score when Bellinger hit a sacrifice.

Kranick offers 5 perfect rounds on his 1st start

Right-hander Max Kranick had a fabulous Major Baseball debut on Sunday as he pitched five perfect innings in the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

Considered the Pirates’ 26th best prospect, Kranick came to MLB after making seven starts in the AA and AAA ranks, and he made quite a first impression.

After he struck out three Card hitters for the fifth time in a row, a 64-minute hiatus thwarted plans, however. Coming back from the break, Kranick was replaced by Duane Underwood Jr, although he had only totaled 50 shots so far.

Underwood pitched a perfect end too in the sixth, but Dylan Carlson then ended hopes of a perfect combined game, hitting a double in the seventh.

Kranick came to bat in the first inning in this game. He thus became the second gunner in the history of the Pirates to strike before settling for his first career pitch. Paul Maholm did the same in 2005, against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Eight of the 15 outs obtained by Kranick were from balls struck in the air. He’s recorded three strikeouts.

Elsewhere in the National :

Phillies 4 – Mets 2

PHI: Zack Wheeler shut out the Mets batting for seven innings.
NYM: Kevin Pillar hit his 8th homer of the season.

Braves 4 – Reds 0

ContentId (3.1391451): MLB: Braves 4 – Reds 0 (baseball)

ATL: Kyle Muller notched his 1st MLB victory pitching for five innings.
CIN: Tyler Mahle (7-3) allowed four earned runs in six innings at the mound.

Nationals 5 – Marlins 1

ContentId (3.1391452): MLB: Nationals 5 – Marlins 1 (baseball)

WAS: Max Scherzer gave his team six innings, allowing only one run.
MIA: Jesse Aguilar produced the Marlins’ lone point with his 14th double of the season.

Rockies 0 – Brewers 5

COL: In loss, Chi Chi Gonzalez pitched for five innings, conceding just one run.
MIL: Recently recalled from the minors, Keston Hiura hit a homerun and a double, producing three runs.

Athletics 6 – Giants 2

OAK: Cole Irvin was dominant, pitching eight innings with no run allowed and eight strikeouts.
SF: Steven Duggar produced a point with his 10th double of the campaign.

Diamondbacks 4 – Padres 5

ARI: Starter Zac Gallen pitched for just four and two-thirds innings, allowing six hits and three walks.
SD: Mark Melancon got the last three strikeouts to add a 24th save to his record.

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