Matt Kamlet, CBSLA.com
MILWAUKEE (CBSLa.com) — There’s been a Dodgers sighting in Milwaukee.
In lieu of all the speculation about skipper Don Mattingly’s job, the big bats woke up and had the kind of night that fans, management, and media alike expected of them in Spring Training.
Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier both homered, Ethier added a triple, and Clayton Kershaw gave up one run over nine innings for his 10th career complete game as the Dodgers beat the Brewers 3-1 on Monday.
Andre Ethier tripled in the second inning to score Matt Kemp, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. But A.J. Ellis grounded out to short, and Juan Uribe and Dee Gordon both struck out to strand Ethier at third.
Clayton Kershaw’s first strikeout of the game came at the perfect time, in the third inning, with the go-ahead run on third base and two outs, and National League-leading hitter Jean Segura at the plate. Segura struck out looking to end the inning with a 1-1 tie.
Ethier then connected in the fourth inning to hammer an absolute shot into the second deck in right field — his fourth homer of the year — to retake a 2-1 lead for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers once again had a runner in scoring position after Carl Crawford hit a one-out double to right-center, his eighth double of the season, in the fifth inning. However, Mark Ellis grounded out, and Adrian Gonzalez struck out swinging to end the inning.
Then, in the sixth inning, Matt Kemp stepped up to the plate.
Yovani Gallardo threw a fastball down the middle, and Kemp had the immediate, distinct look in his eye that kindled fond memories of “Beast Mode”.
Kemp swung and crushed the ball to deep left-center field, and unlike the blooper that landed on top of the wall at Citifield that had to be reviewed, this ball left no doubt. Kemp’s second homer of the season showed that, perhaps, that shoulder is healing better than previously thought. The Dodgers took a 3-1 lead.
In the eighth inning, Brewers reliever Mike Gonzalez through a pitch over Ethier’s head. No warning was issued, and Ethier ended up striking out. Ethier exchanged some words with home plate umpire Dan Bellino, and was ejected. Ethier was taken to the dugout by some of his teammates, but not before delivering a cold, Kobe-esque stare at Bellino.
After a weekend in which the bullpen’s struggled contributed greatly to a sweep at the hands of the Atlanta Braves, Kershaw made certain they would not need to be called upon, pitching one-run ball through nine innings, giving up only three runs.
There was a scare in the bottom of the ninth, when Aramis Ramirez hit a towering fly ball to left. It was ruled foul, but video was still not clear on the ball’s location. Manager Ron Roenicke did not protest, and Ramirez ended up striking out — one of five Brewers to be struckout by the National League leader in earned run average.
The Dodgers held on to win 3-1.
Kershaw has now had 22 consecutive starts where he has given up no more than three earned runs — just one start shy of tying the record of any starter over the last 20 years.
Perhaps no one is more content than Don Mattingly, who has been the subject of speculation over the past 24 hours in terms of his job security.
The issue of Mattingly’s job is far from put to rest, but for one night, the Dodgers can sit back, and enjoy a much-welcomed win.