Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw dominated the Seattle Mariners today, striking out 12 men in seven innings, then had a five-word summation of his team's 8-3 victory.
“Thank God Hairston played today,” Kershaw said.
Joureyman infielder Jerry Hairston Jr. homered, doubled, singled and drove in a career-high five runs, four off starting pither Jaason Vargas. The Mariners scored all three runs on one swing: Miguel Olivo's fifth home run of the season.
"Hairston killed us,” Vargas said.
“The scouting report said we wanted to get him with fastballs in and that’s what I threw in the first inning, but he put a good swing on it,” Vargas said.
The result: A two-out, three-run home run that put Kershaw ahead for good.“You can’t give a pitcher like Kershaw a big lead, and after the third inning, he was up 5-0,” Vargas said.
Kershaw stumbled once, in the fourth inning, when Justin Smoak singled with one out and Kyle Seager drew one of his two walks to bring up Olivo.
“He was throwing me mostly fastballs and sliders all day,” Olivo said, “and his fastball was tough, always in-in-in on you. He’d thrown me a good fastball and I was looking for that again. He threw me a slider, and it wasn’t a bad pitch. Maybe up just a little. I got a little lucky.”
After Olivo's fourth-inning home run, the Mariners didn't score again - or hit again. They finished with four hits, none after the fourth.
“You can watch all the video you want, but it doesn’t tell you when you’ll pick up the pitch after he’s thrown it,” Seager said. “You get an idea what he does, but then he makes good pitches on you and it looks a little tougher.
“He’s as good as anyone we’ve faced all season."
A few notes from the day:
- Kevin Millwood's MRI came back and the team will not place him on the disabled list. Millwood played catch today and could make his next start, especially with Monday's scheduled off-day.
- Fourth-round draft pick Patrick Kivlehan and seventh-round pick Taylor Ard each agreed to terms today. Kivlehan played outfield and third base, Ard is a first baseman.
- Jesus Montero now has an 8-game hitting streak during which he's batting .353 with a home run and four RBI.