PHOENIX (AP) — It's almost September and Clayton Kershaw loaded the bases for the first time all season.
Of course, nobody scored.
Kershaw allowed only an unearned run in eight innings to become the first 16-game winner in the majors, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 on Wednesday night.
Kershaw (16-3) allowed six hits, retiring 12 of the final 13 batters he faced, seven by strikeout, to improve to 13-1 in his last 16 starts.
The left-handed ace struck out 10 and walked two.
Kershaw was unaware he hadn't faced a bases-loaded situation all year.
"I blew that streak I guess," he said.
His teammates didn't know about it either.
"A pretty shocking stat," Scott Van Slyke said, "but not really."
Manager Don Mattingly called it a surprising fact, then added "but nothing surprises me about him anymore."
Kershaw leads the majors in wins despite spending five weeks on the disabled list.
"Wins are a team thing," he said.
Van Slyke hit a solo home run off Wade Miley (7-10) before leaving the game with an ankle injury in the fourth inning. Matt Kemp had a two-run double.
Kenley Janzen pitched a perfect ninth for his 38th save in 42 tries.
The Dodgers, sweeping the two-game series, climbed to a season-high 18 games above .500.
Kershaw reached double digit strikeouts for the third straight outing and his major league best ERA dropped to 1.73.
"It is kind of hard to describe unless you are up there," Arizona's Mark Trumbo said, "but his heater plays as hard as anyone you will see, even though velocity-wise it isn't as hard. It is everything. It is his curveball when he gets on top of it. It starts way up there and goes way down, but everything is set up by his fastball."
And Kershaw was nowhere near his best, at least early on.
"It was a bad start, really," he said. "I felt guys were on base all night. You know, working in and out of jams, which is never fun to do. But I was fortunate to get some outs when I needed them. After about the fourth or fifth I settled in a little bit and was able to make it to eight."
That bases-loaded situation came with one out in the third, but Aaron Hill popped out and Trumbo struck out.
The Diamondbacks' Ender Inciarte tripled to lead off the fifth, then Kershaw retired the next 11 before Trumbo's two-out single in the eighth. Kershaw ended his night by striking out Alfredo Marte to end the eighth.