Clayton Kershaw takes perfect game into 8th, Dodgers rout Angels 9-1

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Saturday, July 16, 2022
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Clayton Kershaw took a perfect game through the seventh and finished with eight scoreless innings of one-hit ball in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 9-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.

After retiring the Angels' first 21 batters in order, Kershaw (7-2) fell six outs short of his first perfect game and the second in Dodgers franchise history when Luis Rengifo lined a clean double to left leading off the eighth.

But the Dodgers' beloved left-hander finished the eighth inning strong and got the last of several standing ovations from a sellout crowd of 44,648 at Angel Stadium, which contained a huge contingent of blue-clad fans roaring for Kershaw's every out.

The 34-year-old Kershaw was selected to his ninth All-Star team earlier this month, and he is a strong sentimental candidate to start the Midsummer Classic at Dodger Stadium.

If anybody still doubted his All-Star worthiness after just 12 starts this season, Kershaw again showed he can still dominate major league hitters with a masterful performance that nearly made history at Angel Stadium. The three-time Cy Young Award winner struck out six and threw just 89 pitches in his eight innings.

Kershaw threw the only no-hitter of his career back in 2014 against Colorado. Sandy Koufax threw the only perfect game in Dodgers history on Sept. 9, 1965. Only 23 perfect games have been thrown in major league history.

Justin Turner had three hits, drove in four runs and also made the first of three spectacular defensive plays by the Dodgers' infield to keep Kershaw's perfect game intact. Will Smith went 4 for 4 with a walk, while Hanser Alberto had a two-run triple in the fifth inning as the Dodgers rolled toward the All-Star break with 13 wins in 15 games.

Brandon Marsh homered off Reyes Moronta in the ninth inning for the Angels, who opened the second half of the annual Freeway Series with their 11th loss in 13 games overall.

Mike Trout sat out for a third consecutive game after having upper back spasms Tuesday, and the rest of the Angels couldn't break through against Kershaw.

Patrick Sandoval (3-5) yielded seven hits and two earned runs while failing to get through the fifth inning for the Angels.

Turner, Hanser Alberto and Trea Turner all made outstanding plays on grounders in a four-inning span to maintain Kershaw's perfection, but Rengifo drove a low 2-1 slider into left.

Kershaw already flirted with history in his first start of the season, throwing seven perfect innings with 13 strikeouts at Minnesota on April 13. Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts pulled Kershaw from that start with the lefty's reluctant approval.

Kershaw is the only pitcher in the post-1961 expansion era to be perfect through seven innings more than once in a season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.


Freddie Freeman had an early RBI single in his first game at Angel Stadium since his rookie season. The longtime Atlanta slugger is an Orange County native who grew up 10 minutes from the Big A and attended countless games here as a kid, but he was injured when the Braves visited Anaheim in 2017, and he fell ill shortly before the Dodgers' preseason exhibition game at the ballpark this spring.

Freeman continued his phenomenal stretch at the plate since being left off the NL All-Star team when he drove in the Dodgers' first run with an RBI single. The slugger reached base for the jaw-dropping 18th time in his last 21 plate appearances with the first-inning hit.


Dodgers: LHP Andrew Heaney is likely to make a rehab start Saturday. He has pitched for LA once since April due to shoulder woes.

Angels: Trout still intends to play in the All-Star Game, Nevin said. ... RHP Jimmy Herget will start a rehab assignment after the All-Star break. He's been out since June 22 with a right shoulder impingement.


Julio Urías (7-6, 3.01 ERA) attempts to beat the Angels for the first time in his third career attempt. José Suarez (1-3, 4.79) faces the Dodgers for the first time in his major league career.