Monday, September 15, 2014
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Dodgers win, stretch lead to three games

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[September 15, 2014]  Dodgers 4, Giants 2: Matt Kemp belted a two-run homer and Clayton Kershaw became the majors’ first 19-game winner as visiting Los Angeles claimed the rubber match of the key divisional series.

Kershaw (19-3) struck out nine and held the Giants to two runs on seven hits and one walk over eight innings while lowering his ERA to a major league-best 1.70. Kenley Jansen worked a perfect ninth for his 42nd save for the Dodgers, who moved three games ahead of the Giants in the National League West with 13 games remaining.

Yusmeiro Petit (5-4) struck out the side in the first inning before the Dodgers tallied two hits and capitalized on two errors in the second to move ahead 2-0. Petit settled in and allowed four runs (three earned) while striking out eight over seven frames for the Giants, who have lost two straight following a four-game winning streak.

San Francisco answered in the third as Buster Posey delivered a run-scoring single off Kershaw, who lowered his ERA to 1.44 in 25 career games against the Giants. Kershaw exited after 110 pitches and became the first Dodgers pitcher since Orel Hershiser in 1988 to throw at least eight innings in seven consecutive starts.

Los Angeles extended its lead in the sixth as Adrian Gonzalez doubled with one out and Kemp followed with his 20th home run into the left-center field seats. The Giants cut the deficit to 4-2 in the seventh when Andrew Susac and Joaquin Arias recorded back-to-back singles with one out and Susac came around to score on Matt Duffy’s bloop single to center.

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GAME NOTEBOOK: Kemp tied Mike Piazza for fourth on the all-time Dodgers home run list with 177. … Susac and Arias had two hits apiece for the Giants, who begin a nine-game road trip Monday in Arizona before concluding next week with three games against the Dodgers. … Kershaw has won 10 consecutive starts against NL West opponents.

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