LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw continued his dominant start to the season with seven sharp innings, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the struggling St. Louis Cardinals 1-0 on Saturday night.
Kershaw didn’t allow a baserunner until Dylan Carlson’s one-out single in the fifth. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner gave up two hits, struck out nine and walked none, throwing 88 pitches.
Back for his 16th season on a one-year deal, the 35-year-old Kershaw (5-1) won his fourth consecutive start and has now given up one run total over his last three outings, a span of 20 innings. His ERA dropped to 1.89.
Austin Barnes had an RBI single in the second inning for Los Angeles, which will try for its first three-game series sweep Sunday. Evan Phillips worked around a walk and an error by shortstop Chris Taylor in the eighth, and Brusdar Graterol pitched the ninth to complete the three-hitter and earn his second save.
Cardinals left-hander Jordan Montgomery (2-4) had his second consecutive hard-luck defeat after taking the loss Monday at San Francisco when he gave up one unearned run. He allowed one run on five hits over 6 2/3 innings with two walks and seven strikeouts but lost his fourth consecutive decision.
The Cardinals have lost five of six and are 2-7 on a 10-game West Coast trip that started in Seattle last weekend.
Barnes drove in James Outman with his two-out single to center in the second.
After Carlson’s single, Kershaw retired five straight batters before Paul Goldschmidt singled to lead off the seventh.
Carlson contributed on defense with a running, over-the-shoulder catch of Mookie Betts’ drive to the center-field warning track in the fifth inning.
Nolan Arenado, who entered batting .248 with a .625 OPS, was moved to the No. 3 spot in the St. Louis order for the first time this season after batting cleanup for all but one game, but went 0-for-4.
The Dodgers stole three bases, including two by Freddie Freeman, the first multi-steal game of his career.
Cardinals: After he was a late scratch Friday as a precaution following mid-back tightness in batting practice, left fielder Tyler O’Neill was back in the lineup. … RHP Adam Wainwright (groin) is expected to make his third rehab start Sunday for Triple-A Memphis.
Dodgers: SS Miguel Rojas, who has not played since April 18 because of a hamstring injury, began a rehab assignment with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday and could return to the Dodgers by Monday.
Cardinals: RHP Jake Woodford (1-2, 5.47 ERA) has allowed seven home runs over his five starts this season.
Dodgers: RHP Noah Syndergaard (0-3, 6.58) will make his sixth start for his new club while still looking for a win.