LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw racked up a season-high 13 strikeouts over eight dominant innings, and Zach McKinstry hit a grand slam in the second inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 7-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night.
Cody Bellinger homered in his second straight game and drove in three runs in the Dodgers’ third consecutive win over Chicago after four Cubs pitchers combined for a no-hitter in the series opener Thursday.
Kershaw (9-7) lasted just one inning at Wrigley Field last month in the shortest start of his 14-year career, but the 33-year-old left-hander was spectacular in the rematch.
He yielded four hits while flummoxing the Cubs with his slider, recording his highest strikeout total in a regular-season game since July 2017 and getting a season-high 26 swings and misses.
Kershaw didn’t get into a three-ball count until the sixth, and he issued his only walk in the seventh. He matched his highest strikeout total since he struck out 13 Brewers to wrap up last fall’s NL wild-card series on the way to his first World Series title.
Kershaw got a standing ovation as he left the field in the eighth, although it briefly turned to loud boos when umpires inspected him for foreign substances. Kershaw smiled and waved his cap as the cheers returned.
Javier Báez hit his 18th homer for the Cubs, who haven’t won a series at Dodger Stadium since 2014. Anthony Rizzo also left the game in the fourth inning with lower back tightness.
McKinstry’s first career grand slam was the Dodgers’ first hit after they loaded the bases with two walks and a hit batsman against Adbert Alzolay (4-7).
It was the second homer in three days by McKinstry, the rookie whose promising start was derailed by a five-week injury absence consuming most of May.
Three batters and one inning-prolonging error later, Bellinger followed up his dramatic walk-off homer on Saturday with a two-run shot off Alzolay, who yielded six runs on five hits over three innings in his third consecutive defeat.
The second inning was extended when Rizzo couldn’t scoop Báez’s errant throw to first on Mookie Betts’ two-out grounder, and Bellinger capitalized with a high-arching homer to right, just his third of the season.
Kershaw struck out eight of Chicago’s first 11 batters, but Báez hit a solo shot on his first pitch in the fourth.
Sergio Alcántara got into the Cubs’ first three-ball count against Kershaw in the sixth, and Kershaw struck him out anyway to set a new season high.
Betts tripled and scored on Bellinger’s sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Cubs: C P.J. Higgins will have his right forearm flexor tendon repaired when he has surgery. He is still out for the season. Higgins hurt himself making a throw June 9.
Dodgers: SS Corey Seager’s broken hand is taking a bit longer than expected to heal, manager Dave Roberts said. The World Series MVP is no longer swinging the bat as frequently as before, and there’s still no firm timetable for his return.
Cubs: Kyle Hendricks (10-4, 3.84 ERA) pitches in Milwaukee on Monday night to open a three-game set against the Brewers.
Dodgers: The NL’s top two teams meet again when Trevor Bauer (7-5, 2.57 ERA) takes the mound Monday to open a two-game home series against the San Francisco Giants.
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