Kershaw in three-start skid for first time

Dodgers' ace throws another quality outing -- three runs (one earned) -- but takes loss

Kershaw in three-start skid for first time

MIAMI -- Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has racked up plenty of positive accomplishments over his young, yet already storied career. But in Los Angeles' 3-2 loss at Marlins Park on Saturday, the lefty reached a negative milestone despite turning in another strong effort.

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Although he allowed just one earned run (three runs overall) in seven innings against the Marlins, Kershaw (5-6, 3.20 ERA), he lost his third consecutive game for the first time in his eight-year career.

"I think winning, in general, is what Clayton's all about," manager Don Mattingly said. "I don't know if it's weighing on him. He may show frustration at the time, but when he gets away from it, I think he knows he pitched really well and gave us a really good chance to win."

Kershaw had lost against Texas on June 17 (six innings, three earned runs) before being falling to the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Monday (seven innings, three earned runs). He hasn't given up more than three runs in his past seven starts, but also hasn't won since June 6 vs. St. Louis.

"It never feels good to lose," Kershaw said. "But I'm fine."

All of the Marlins' damage against the 2014 National League MVP Award winner came in the first two innings.

Miami notched three hits in the first two frames, but two of the runs scored on Dodgers errors, while another scored on a wild pitch. After that, Kershaw settled down to collect five scoreless innings -- striking out the side in the fourth and sixth on his way to nine punchouts.

"It was really just ... on the wild pitch, I threw that one really short and gave up a second run, which you never want to do," Kershaw said. "I wasn't really sharp the first few innings, but I started figuring it out there towards the end and felt pretty good."

With the loss, he's now 5-2 with a 1.91 ERA in eight career starts vs. Miami. The Marlins also beat him on April 26, 2011 -- which was the last time Kershaw lost to an NL East opponent before Saturday. During that stretch, the 27-year-old started 20 games against the NL East and went 16-0 with a 1.21 ERA in 148 2/3 innings.

"You really can't ask Clayton to pitch a whole lot better," Mattingly said. "He gives up one [earned] run and goes seven innings. We just weren't able to put any runs on the board tonight to overcome our couple mistakes."

Steve Wilaj is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.