Kershaw outduels Lincecum as Dodgers hold off reigning champs

Posted: 01/04/2011 in MLB
Dodgers cash in on Giants error, knock off champs

Clayton Kershaw outdueled Tim Lincecum and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the reigning World Series champion San Francisco Giants, 2-1, in Don Mattingly’s managerial debut.

Kershaw (1-0), the youngest Opening Day starter for the Dodgers since 1983, struck out nine and scattered four hits and a walk in seven scoreless innings, while Jonathan Broxton survived Pat Burrell’s solo homer in the ninth to secure the save.

Lincecum (0-1) worked around several jams in his seven frames, but gave up an unearned run when Buster Posey’s throwing error scored Matt Kemp in the sixth. The two-time Cy Young Award winner allowed five hits and three walks while fanning five.

The crowd at Dodger Stadium was treated to 85-degree weather and a pitching duel between young aces that did not disappoint.

Kershaw only allowed one runner to reach second base, getting out of a two-on, one-out situation in the fifth by retiring Lincecum and Andres Torres on ground balls.

“Every time he goes out there, you expect to win,” Mattingly said of his 23- year-old lefty. “He keeps getting better, keeps working … He’s going to be tough.”

Lincecum faced more adversity, but wiggled out of it until the Giants’ defense betrayed him in the sixth. Miguel Tejada threw away a potential inning-ending double-play ball off the bat of James Loney, leaving runners on the corners with one out.

Juan Uribe, who was part of San Francisco’s surprising run through the 2010 postseason, was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. With Rod Barajas at the plate, Posey blocked a ball in the dirt and tried to catch a sleeping Kemp off third. However, the ball got away from Pablo Sandoval, and Kemp scored the game’s first run.

“We kicked the ball around a little bit,” Giants outfielder Aubrey Huff said. “In a game like that you can’t make errors.”

Lincecum got out of the inning and gave way to Santiago Casilla in the eighth. The Dodgers got a much-needed insurance run off the reliever, as Kemp walked, stole second and scored on Loney’s double off the base of the wall in right- center.

Broxton, coming off a difficult season last year with seven blown saves, served up a long ball to Burrell with one out in the ninth to make things interesting. But the flame-thrower shut down Tejada and rookie Brandon Belt to give Mattingly and the hosts the season-opening victory.

– Steve


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