Javier Báez and Austin Meadows each drove in two runs and the Detroit Tigers snapped a six-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory over Los Angeles on Saturday, spoiling a night when Clayton Kershaw became the Dodgers’ career strikeout leader.
Báez tied it at 1-all in the third inning with a base hit to left and then had the go-ahead double down the right-field line off Evan Phillips (1-1) in the seventh. Later in the inning, Meadows plated two more runs with a perfectly-placed single between third and short that extended the lead to 4-1.
Mookie Betts accounted for Los Angeles’ only run with a leadoff homer in the first. The Dodgers, who had won seven of their first eight at home, only managed four hits against five Detroit pitchers.
Jacob Barnes (2-0) got the win as the Tigers’ bullpen allowed only one hit and one walk in four innings.
Kershaw began the game needing four to pass Don Sutton as the Dodgers’ strikeout king.
The 33-year-old lefty got Spencer Torkelson to whiff on a slider low and inside for his 2,697th strikeout and move past the Hall of Famer.
Kershaw received a standing ovation from the fans at Dodger Stadium and tipped his cap after getting the record. He finished the night with seven punchouts and also became the 26th pitcher to reach 2,700 strikeouts.
Since the start of the live-ball era in 1920, Kershaw has the lowest career ERA (2.48) and WHIP (1.00) among starting pitchers with at least 1,500 innings. He is fourth among active players in strikeouts.
Kershaw has spent his entire 15-year career in Dodger blue. The three-time Cy Young Award winner signed a one-year deal in March after the lockout ended that could earn him as much as $22 million.
Betts began the Dodgers’ first by driving Beau Brieskie’s curveball over the wall in center field. It was Betts’ third homer of the season and the 30th of his career when leading off.
Kershaw — allowed one run and four hits in six innings — retired the first eight Tigers before running into trouble with two outs in the third. Derek Hill lined a double down the left-field line and scored on Baez’s base hit to left to tie it.
Brieske had a better outing in his second major-league start. The right-hander — who was the Tigers’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year last season — allowed only one run and three hits with three strikeouts in five innings.
He allowed three runs in five innings in his debut on April 23 against Colorado.
Tigers: Right-handers Matt Manning (right shoulder inflammation) and Casey Mize (right elbow) are on track to begin throwing bullpen sessions early next week.
Dodgers: RHP Mitch White was placed on the COVID-19 injured list and RHP Andre Jackson was optioned. OF Zach McKinstry was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City and the contract of RHP Carson Fulmer was selected.
Tigers: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (0-1, 5.03 ERA) makes his fifth start of the season and has had a no-decision in his last two games. He is 1-1 in two career regular-season starts against the Dodgers.
Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler (2-1, 2.55 ERA) tossed his first big-league complete game in last Monday’s 4-0 victory at Arizona. This will be the first time he has faced the Tigers.
Source: NBC Los Angeles