LOS ANGELES — Of late, the Marlins had enjoyed rare success against Clayton Kershaw, winning four consecutive games against three-time Cy Young Awardee.
He did his part to put an emphatic end to that trend Saturday, on a night meant to celebrate great pitching — and then a three-run, save-the-day blast by rookie Matt Beaty — in a 10-6 victory at Dodger Stadium.
After the Dodgers bullpen coughed up the entirety of a 6-0 lead in a matter of two innings, Corey Seager bounced a one-out double into the left-field stands, Austin Barnes walked and Beaty walloped his third home run in three games to put L.A. back in front, 9-6.
“With Matt and players that rise to the occasion, they want to be that guy,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “And for a guy that doesn’t have a lot of service time, you can see he just wants to be that guy.”
The 26-year-old guy from Georgia kept the Dodgers from completely spoiling Kershaw’s clinic before a sellout crowd of 53,778 fans.
Before the game, the club honored Fernando Valenzuela in a “Legends” ceremony that fell, fittingly, on a night that an active Dodgers pitching great would take the mound.
And true to his walk-up-to-the-plate music — TLC’s 1999 hit “No Scrubs” — Kershaw issued an unsubtle reminder to the Marlins that he certainly isn’t one, and most definitely not at home, where he hasn’t lost this season.
Kershaw didn’t, however, get his seventh home victory, which, “yes,” he found disappointing, he said after the Dodgers bullpen coughed up the entirety of a 6-0 lead in two innings.
“Outcome of the game aside, I would’ve liked to have stayed in. Doc’s decision obviously … and we ended up winning the game, so that’s all great. But just knowing what’s ahead and two off days coming up, it felt like it was a good time to maybe get one more (inning) in.
“But Doc’s always got the bigger picture in mind, which you can’t argue with.”
The left-hander was “crisp,” he said, mixing his slider, curveball and fastball to great effect. He confounded Marlins hitters through six innings, allowing only two hits, one walk and no runs while striking out a season-high 10 batters (punching out 10 or more hitters in a game for the 60th time in his career).
Miami (36-60) got its first hit in the fourth inning, when Martin Prado’s squibber traveled just a few feet. By the time Kershaw picked up the ball, he was rushing a throw — wide — to first base.
Miami’s Garrett Cooper pushed Prado to second with a single, and after Brian Anderson’s flyout, Prado was standing on third. But Kershaw struck out Starlin Castro, stranding Prado.
At the plate, the Dodgers (66-35) steadily built an advantage in support of their ace — and, more importantly, the pitchers who’d come on in relief.
In the first, Joc Pederson lined a 2-0 pitch into the right field porch for the game’s first score and his 22nd home run.
In the fourth, Barnes yanked fastball into left field, doubling home Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager and increasing the Dodgers’ lead to 3-0. Then Kershaw worked the count full before hitting a single up the middle, driving home Barnes.
The Dodgers tacked on a couple more in the fifth when Justin Turner crunched a two-out shot to straightaway center field — sending his 13th home run this season 419 feet. Max Muncy doubled off the left-field wall, bringing home Bellinger, who’d walked, to make it 6-0.
But without Kershaw on the mound, four Dodgers relievers combined to allow six runs in two innings, including the fifth and tying sixth run on a throwing error by Hernandez that allowed Garrett Cooper and Brian Anderson to score.
The Dodgers committed two errors in the eighth, and three in the game — making it seven consecutive games with multiple errors.
“A lot of the talk has been about the relievers, but you have to play defense too,” Roberts said. “You have to make quality pitches and execute, but on the other side, we have to make plays for these guys as well.”
After Beaty’s go-ahead homer in the eighth, Russell Martin pinch hit and delivered an RBI single, driving in Hernandez to make it 10-6.