Hairston, Kershaw help Dodgers hit back

Hairston, Kershaw help Dodgers hit back

Hairston, Kershaw help Dodgers hit back
SEATTLE -- After Friday night's historic embarrassment, catcher A.J. Ellis said Saturday's 8-3 Dodgers win over the Mariners was irrefutable proof of a line drawn in the sand, or something like that.

"Nobody," declared Ellis, "no-hits us two days in a row."

Sure enough, the winningest team in baseball bounced back. Jerry Hairston drove in a career-high five runs and Clayton Kershaw had a season-high 12 strikeouts while the offense combined for 14 hits more than it had against six Seattle pitchers one game earlier.

"It was kind of a reversal from last night," said manager Don Mattingly. "No tailspin, obviously. Just turn the page and play again."

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Hairston provided enough offense with a three-run homer in the first inning and RBI doubles in the third and eighth, all with two out.

Kershaw, staked to a five-run lead after three innings, allowed a three-run blast to Miguel Olivo in the fourth to keep the game interesting, but with a 96-mph fastball and 115 total pitches showed no ill effects from the plantar fasciitis afflicting his left foot.

Of the four hits Kershaw allowed in seven innings, three of them could have been outs and the Mariners did nothing off Kershaw after Olivo's homer. Seven of his strikeouts came against the bottom of Seattle's order -- Michael Saunders, Alex Liddi and Brendan Ryan.

Kershaw was most pleased by shutting down the Mariners in the first inning after an infield single by Ichiro Suzuki, who was doubled to third by Jesus Montero's smash that rocketed over the head of rookie right fielder Alex Castellanos. But Kershaw (5-3) struck out Justin Smoak and Kyle Seager to escape.

"Some of the best fastballs he's thrown all year, he reached back and let it go," Ellis said. "Sometimes, the biggest outs come in the first inning. We got runs in the top and needed to put up a zero in the bottom."

"I needed strikeouts there and I kind of went into strikeout mode so I wouldn't let them score there," Kershaw said. "I had to be a closer that inning."

Kershaw's ability to put down that threat meant that the three-run blast by Olivo wasn't a game-changer.

"I felt good," said Kershaw, who said his foot was not a problem. "I just wish my mistakes wouldn't go over the fence and cost us three runs, but that's what's been happening. I don't care about giving up home runs, but they've got to be solo. Fortunately for me, Jerry Hairston was playing today."

Hairston has been playing a lot, but before and after his disabled list stint for a strained hamstring. He's batting .366 this year and had only 10 RBIs before going off against the Mariners. He was 2-for-5 with three RBIs against loser Jason Vargas (7-5) coming into the game.

"I've been feeling good for a while and just making sure I have good at-bats," said Hairston, who has become the primary replacement for injured second baseman Mark Ellis.

"Especially after what happened to us last night. As a group, their guys pitched extremely well and we couldn't drum up a hit. But we turned the page."

To Ellis' point about not another no-hitter, this one was snapped by Dee Gordon's first-inning leadoff infield single. He stole second, slumping Andre Ethier (4-for-29) walked and Hairston homered off Vargas. In the third inning, Elian Herrera singled, stole second and Hairston doubled him home.

"Hairston killed us today, for the most part," said Vargas.

Olivo launched his three-run blast off Kershaw in the fourth inning, the last of four Seattle hits off Kershaw in seven innings. Kershaw allowed 15 home runs last year, when he won the National League Cy Young Award. He's now allowed eight.

But Kershaw also has four straight Interleague starts with double-digit strikeouts and with seven innings leads the Major Leagues with at least that many innings in 10 of his starts. It was the fourth time in his career that he struck out a dozen.

"Kershaw was pretty good," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "That was the first time I've really seen him, in awhile anyway. Good stuff, was able to go into another gear when he needed to. I think you saw that early on when we had second and third and he dialed it up a little bit. I thought our guys competed well. He made some real good pitches at the right time."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.