Kershaw strikes out 13 Phillies in shutout

Kershaw strikes out 13 Phillies in shutout

LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw made his case for the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote and A.J. Ellis and Jimmy Rollins homered as the Dodgers beat the Phillies, 5-0, Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

In his last start before the All-Star break, and last audition for the Final Vote, Kershaw fired his first shutout of the season. The MLB leader in strikeouts tied a season-high with 13 strikeouts and allowed eight hits. Kershaw's ERA is 1.53 in his last nine starts and his season ERA dropped to 2.85.

"He was really strong. He was 0-1 all night long, which sets up the entire at-bat for Clayton," Ellis said. "Hopefully, and rightfully so, Major League Baseball gets to see this guy next week."

Adam Morgan lasted just four innings and took the loss for the Phillies. In his third career start, Morgan allowed five runs, all coming on the home runs, his second straight outing allowing multiple home runs.

"It's a process, but I feel great right now," Morgan said. "I still feel like there's more, so I'm just going to keep working my butt off and hopefully take the ball whenever I get the chance again."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Production from the bottom: The Dodgers gave Kershaw run support from the bottom of their lineup. Rollins and Ellis were seventh and eighth in the order, respectively, and each had multiple hits and a home run. Ellis started the scoring with his two-run shot in the second and Rollins followed with a three-run homer in the third. Ellis finished 3-for-4, while Rollins went 2-for-4. Rollins is now 4-for-12 with five RBIs in three games against his former team.

"I think he's been due for a bit," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Rollins. "I think it's been coming for a while. He's made some changes, staying in the middle of the field and not coming around it as much."

 

Rollins' three-run shot

Morgan exits early: The Phillies felt pretty good after Morgan allowed two runs in seven innings last weekend against Atlanta, but he could not replicate that success against the Dodgers. He allowed six hits, five runs, one walk and two home runs in just four innings. More >

"We were careful with him," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "He's allowed to not be sharp once in a while, especially when you're a rookie. I think he's better than he pitched today. I think he's more like the last two starts than he was today."

Morgan escapes bases-loaded jam

Leaving them stranded: While Kershaw was in control for most of the game, the Phillies couldn't capitalize with runners on base. Philadelphia was 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base. With runners on second and third in the sixth, Kershaw induced two straight infield popups to get out of the jam.

More work for the 'pen: Morgan's early departure forced the Phillies' already overworked bullpen into another long night. That is worth noting with rookie right-hander Severino Gonzalez pitching Thursday night's series finale. Gonzalez has not pitched more than 5 1/3 innings in any of his six starts this season.

QUOTABLE
"It was just same old Clayton." -- Mattingly on Kershaw's performance More >

"When a guy like Kershaw is pitching like he did tonight, you're in trouble. Obviously, he's got six losses, so somebody caught him at the right time. We unfortunately didn't." -- Mackanin

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Phillies had not been shut out since June 15. They had averaged 4.86 runs per game since, which ranked 8th in Major League Baseball.

WHAT'S NEXT
Phillies: Rookie right-hander Gonzalez rejoins the Phillies' rotation for Thursday night's series finale against the Dodgers. He is 2-3 with an 8.28 ERA in six starts and has been unable to pitch more than 5 1/3 innings in any of them, but the Phillies would rather give him another look than right-hander Kevin Correia, whom they designated for assignment Tuesday.

Dodgers: Zack Greinke will be on the mound for the final game of the four-game set at 7:10 p.m. PT. Greinke leads the Majors with a 1.48 ERA and hasn't allowed a run in his last 27 2/3 innings, a streak that spans four consecutive starts. Greinke has lasted at least six innings in every start this season.

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Steve Bourbon is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.