Clayton Kershaw dominated for more than seven innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the struggling Chicago Cubs 7-0 in the opener of a split doubleheader on Saturday.
Freddie Freeman doubled up three times and scored twice, bringing the NL West front-runners to a 16th win in 21 games. Austin Barnes homered and cashed in three runs.
Kershaw (4-0) gave up five hits, struckout two and walked. The three-time Cy Young Award winner recovered from an unfortunate loss to Detroit in which he surpassed Hall of Famer Don Sutton as the strikeout career leader for the Dodgers.
Kershaw paired with two relievers on Los Angeles’ third shutout of the season. The twinbill was part of a make-up from Friday’s rainstorm.
Barnes hit a solo drive in the fourth against Drew Smyly and added a two-run single in the eighth. Justin Turner drove in two with a double in the fifth to make it 4-0 and the Dodgers kept going after a two-game sweep in San Francisco, beating their rivals by a combined 12-2.
The Cubs were injured by sloppy play on the field and on base in their eighth loss in 10 games. They were shut out for the first time since a 10-0 Drubbing by Milwaukee on August 11, 2021.
Smyly (1-3) lasted 4 1/3 innings in his return from the mourning list. The lefthander gave up two earned runs and six hits.
Chicago’s Seiya Suzuki was caught first by Kershaw after walking in the first inning. Nico Hoerner was tagged out chasing second place on an infield single in the second, apparently thinking the ball was out of play after short stop Trea Turner threw wildly into first place on his single.
Dodgers: RHP Blake Treinen (right shoulder discomfort) is scheduled for an MRI in Los Angeles on Monday. He has been sidelined since April 14. …LHP Andrew Heaney (shoulderitis) was due to pitch this weekend.
Cubs: LHP Wade Miley (left elbow) will be giving a bullpen session on Sunday. He threw four scoreless innings for Triple-A Iowa on Thursday in a rehab start against St. Paul. “Efficient. Fast,” said manager David Ross. “It’s always fun to be there and watch it and it takes about three minutes, as fast as he works. He felt good to come out.” … SS Andrelton Simmons (inflammation of the right shoulder) started a drug rehabilitation assignment with Iowa on Saturday. … RHP Alec Mills (Low Back Congested) will be pitching off the mound in the coming days.
The Dodgers go with LHP Tyler Anderson (2-0, 2.55 ERA) in Game 2, while Cubs LHP Daniel Norris (0-1, 6.00) makes his first Major League start since August 2, 2020 – a loss to Detroit against Cincinnati.