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TopicJustin Turner

  • Fri 25th Sep 2020 - 3:50am

    The Dodgers showed off their bottomless bullpen in a two-hit 2-0 win over the Giants in seven innings to finish off a doubleheader shutout sweep on Thursday at Oracle Park. Clayton Kershaw pitched six innings in the 7-0 Game 1 win. After deciding not to play Wednesday night to protest in support of racial equality, the Dodgers returned to the field for their first doubleheader shutout sweep since 1971 against Atlanta. The Dodgers, who would be on pace for a record 118 wins in a normal 162-game season, needed to sweep the doubleheader to avoid losing their first series of the year. “For Clayton to set the tone in Game 1 obviously gave us a lot of flexibility in Game 2,” said manager Dave Roberts. “To regroup today, focus on baseball and win two baseball games against a division rival was good.” Because scheduled Game 2 starter Walker Buehler instead went on the injured list with a blister and super-sub Tony Gonsolin pitched Monday in an intrasquad game, the Dodgers paraded seven relievers at the Giants. Opener Caleb Ferguson was followed by winner Victor González (2-0), Brusdar Graterol, Jake McGee, Scott Alexander, Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen. Roberts said Gonsolin would be activated to start on Sunday in Texas, with Julio Urías pushed back to Tuesday. It was the eighth save of the season for Jansen Jackie Robinson Youth Jersey, who struck out the side after allowing a bunt single to beat the shift and a 3-2 walk. Jansen was coming off a blown save on Tuesday night. “I think he feels real good this year,” said catcher Will Smith, who had the back end of back-to-back doubles in the fourth inning with Joc Pederson (who also homered). “Cutter's playing really well, the four-seam doing well as well. He's dominating. Velo back up and the slider is a put-away pitch. He's using everything.” After retiring his first batter, Alexander threw eight consecutive balls to put runners on first and second with one out in the sixth inning. Alexander has an alarming seven walks in 10 1/3 innings. But Treinen came in to strike out Wilmer Flores and get Evan Longoria on a groundout. The seventh and final inning wasn't easy for Jansen. Brandon Belt led off with a perfect bunt single to defeat the shift. Jansen struck out Donovan Solano and pinch-hitter Pablo Sandoval, but walked rookie Joey Bart on a 3-2 pitch. But Brandon Crawford struck out on three pitches. Belt's line single to center field off Graterol leading off the fifth inning and Belt's bunt single were the Giants' only hits. Pederson scored both runs with a 434-foot second-inning homer to center in the second inning and on Smith's double in the fourth. The second game started 35 minutes later than the announced start time. Smith said the Dodgers were notified of the delay three minutes before the expected first pitch Joc Pederson Jersey. The Dodgers resumed play on Thursday and Clayton Kershaw resumed beating the Giants with a four-hitter for six innings in a seven-inning 7-0 win in the first game of a doubleheader at Oracle Park. Kershaw, one of the leading voices in the club's decision not to play on Wednesday night to protest social injustice, struck out four without a walk. He's 4-1 with a 1.80 ERA this year and 24-13 in 51 games (49 starts) in his career against the Giants, whose win streak was stopped at seven. Kershaw also now has the best career winning percentage in history for a left-hander at .698 (173-75, surpassing Whitey Ford), which he attributed to being on a perennial contender. Actually, he wasn't that impressed with his outing, which followed an 11-strikeout win over Seattle. LA silences rival with doubleheader shutouts “Today was a little bit of a grind,” said Kershaw, who conceded that the emotion of the past few days has been real. “More the way the ball came out, but there's been a lot of stuff going on, too. There's a lot of stuff going on more important than baseball that we're working on. Having the start pushed back a day, not having a normal day before your start, that could have all contributed, for sure. But it was all worth it in the end and, thankfully, we got out with a win.” Kershaw, an outspoken supporter of teammate Mookie Betts' decision not to play on Wednesday, again complimented Betts for Thursday's return. “We're kind of following his lead to kind of support him the best we can,” he said. “It's been a difficult time, a tough time for him personally. The Black community, in general. We're trying to figure out what that looks like. It's new territory for us, we're trying to figure it out as well. The decision to play today Julio Urias Jersey, potentially continue to use our platform to speak out on things that shouldn't be happening. Support Mookie in that and support other Black baseball players and the Black community, I think, is important. “Yesterday we made a statement that we were trying to make. It's bigger than baseball, not about playing a game, it's about making our voices heard about what's going on. Supporting our teammates. As far as today goes, we all made the decision we were going to play.” Kershaw said he's aware that there are some critics on social media responding harshly to the players calling off games. “I'm not one to look at the comments a lot for obvious reasons. It doesn't always go well for me out there,” he said. “But I have seen some of the things being said. First and foremost, we're just doing the right thing. We're supporting Black players and the Black community and what they're going through. If the roles were reversed and there was something difficult for me or one of my teammates, I would hope we'd have the full support of the team. It's as simple as that. I said on the post, we're supposed to love God and love others Justin Turner Jersey. That comes with the territory of supporting them, of loving them.” Kershaw said it was decided late last night that the team would play the doubleheader. He said he “almost forgot” the rule change that shortened the game to seven innings. “It's a different animal,” he said. “It just puts a little more emphasis on zeros early in the game. You don't want to put your team down. Sometimes, you give up a run early and it's not a big deal, your team can come back, especially ours. But when you score that first run, it's big to keep that lead as long as you can.” The Dodgers scratched out a first-inning run off Logan Webb after a leadoff walk to Betts, then the outfield defense saved Kershaw with extra-base robbing catches in center on a long run by Cody Bellinger and in left on a dive by AJ Pollock. “My defense was really good today,” said Kershaw. “Had Belli not made that unbelievable play, and the same with AJ out there in left. It kind of looks better than it was in the box score.” Mookie Betts was in the Dodgers' lineup for Game 1 of Thursday's doubleheader against the Giants after being the focal point of Wednesday night's decision by both clubs not to play in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., on Sunday. Betts, who tallied his 1,000th career hit with a single in the sixth inning of a 7-0 win, originally was out of the Game 1 lineup, but manager Dave Roberts explained why and how that changed. “In talking to Mookie last night he didn't plan on playing today; regardless of the doubleheaders, he wasn't going to play,” said Roberts. “He felt like he was going to stand firm on his position, which I absolutely respect and support. But in talking to him this morning Kirk Gibson Jersey, about an hour ago, talking to the Players Alliance and Black players around the league, they just came to the consensus that they can use their platform by playing today, both games. “And also the fact that there's a lot of white teammates that stood beside them by not playing. So, acknowledging that and to stay unified and play and to stay in lockstep with their teammates was very important, which I absolutely agree with and support as well, with the idea that continued conversations and solutions and how we can make life better for Black people, Black kids, Black girls and boys, men, women, for everyone.” Roberts said he would manage on Thursday and first-base coach George Lombard and strength coach Travis Smith would also perform their duties. Roberts said the past two days have been emotional and exhausting, but necessary. “I think the vulnerability of everyone in our clubhouse that the public doesn't get to see, the conversations that have happened in our industry and other industries, has been good,” he said. “There's been a lot of tough conversations. And for guys to stand together and not play a Major League Baseball game is a big deal. For the conversations that happened last night, by the media and in homes all over the world, that's the point.” Roberts said the sudden activism by ballplayers is multilayered. “One is, with social media, people feel more of an opportunity to show who they really are, on the athlete side, peeling back the layers and giving their lives out there, so people understand who they are day to day, what they're really like,” he said. “Now, having a vehicle or tool to voice their thoughts and opinions and beliefs. That individuality is a very good thing. “I don't think it's solely the responsibility of athletes. But I think when you're looking at such a small percentage of Black players in baseball and the things that are happening, men getting shot multiple times, unarmed, to the point that enough is enough. I just think the great thing is that the white players think the same way. A collection of different races and backgrounds come together for a common purpose and hopefully solution is what's important.”

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