LOS ANGELES (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals' years of modest success against Clayton Kershaw seemed like ancient history while the Dodgers' left-hander mowed them down on Sunday.
And after Los Angeles' pitching staff allowed just four runs in four games against the defending NL champions, the Cardinals were simply grateful to get out of Chavez Ravine.
Kershaw struck out 13 during seven innings of five-hit ball, and Andre Ethier hit a three-run homer in the Dodgers' 6-0 victory.
The last time the Cardinals faced Kershaw, they battered Los Angeles' ace on the way to a win in the NL Championship Series. Although Kershaw had a sub-.500 career record against St. Louis before this victory, the two-time Cy Young winner followed outstanding performances by Josh Beckett and Zack Greinke earlier in the series with his own afternoon of dominance.
"I think we have to be pretty honest about how that pitching staff is throwing right now," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "They're throwing the ball well, but that doesn't necessarily mean that we can't walk out of here with more wins than losses. We just didn't stack together the kind of hits that we needed."
Kershaw (9-2) extended his career-best scoreless streak to 28 innings in his first home start since throwing his first no-hitter June 18 against Colorado. He went 6-0 with an 0.82 ERA in June, yielding four runs in 44 innings and striking out 61.
The Dodgers took three of four from St. Louis in a rematch of last season's NLCS. Ethier capped Los Angeles' four-run fifth inning with a shot to right off Shelby Miller (7-7) for his first homer since May 27.
Matt Carpenter had three hits for the Cardinals, who were shut out twice in the four-game series.
"We had a couple of guys on with leadoff hits, and the next thing you know, they're still standing on the bag they started on," Matheny said. "A couple of times we had guys in scoring position, but (Kershaw) just wasn't giving us much. He's locked in."
Indeed, St. Louis had little chance on another vintage day for Kershaw, who hasn't allowed a run since June 13. His 28-inning scoreless streak is the fifth-longest in franchise history, trailing only a who's-who of Dodgers luminaries: Orel Hershiser, Don Drysdale, Don Sutton and Sandy Koufax. Kershaw has the longest streak since Hershiser's record 59-inning run in 1988.
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