9/14/21 LOS ANGELES, CA - The Los Angeles Dodgers (91-53) and Clayton Kershaw returned to the mound to pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks (47-96), came away with a 5-1 victory.
Kershaw took the mound for the first time since July, pitched 4.1 innings, gave up one run and, had five strikes. Zac Gallen for the Diamondbacks pitched 5.1 innings and gave up four runs, and had four strikeouts.
It was a big win for the Dodgers, who remain 2 1/2 games behind the San Francisco Giants, who beat the Padres last night.
"For me, to be able to be a part of it is huge," Kershaw said of rejoining the team as they try to chase down the Giants. "I will never take that for granted ever, to be in a playoff race and to be a part of it. It's a good one right now. Giants aren't losing, so they're not making it easy on us. It's going to be fun."
Arizona took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning after Josh Rojas hit a single to center-field off of Kershaw and Ketel Marte scored.
Mookie Betts led off in the bottom of the first inning with a double. Max Muncy hit a sacrifice fly ball to center field that allowed Betts to advance to third base.
Corey Seager singled to center field, and Betts came home to tie the game 1-1. Moments later, Justin Turner doubled into left field, and Trea Turner and Seagar cross home plate to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.
Kershaw hit an infield single in the bottom of the second inning to get on base. Betts in the bottom of the fourth inning hit a sacrifice fly ball to left field that allowed Gavin Lux to come home to make the score 4-1.
The play at home plate with Lux beating the tag to score a run had been review by the umpires and was reversed and ruled as an out to end the inning.
The Dodgers led 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning after Austin Barnes hit a triple into left field, and Lux scored.
Justin Turner hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning that made the final score of the game 5-1.
Kershaw on all his pitches had great command and has given the Dodgers a better chance to make it back to the World Series to defend their championship.
"There's just no way to simulate a big-league game there's really not," Kershaw said. "You can do all the bullpens, all the rehabs, all the working out you want, but for whatever reason pitching in a big-league game is just different. I'm glad I got this first one behind me, and I'll have a few more that, hopefully, I can contribute, and we can win this thing."