Kershaw closes June with another masterpiece

Clayton Kershaw closed out one of the best months a Dodgers pitcher has ever produced Sunday with his 6-0 victory over St. Louis.
The left-hander struck out 13 batters and held the Cardinals to five hits over seven innings, improving his record in June to 6-0 and lowering his ERA over the same stretch to 0.82. Including his 15-strikeout no-hitter against Colorado on June 18, Kershaw struck out 61 batters in the month, a total matched only by Sandy Koufax in Dodgers history.
“As a starting pitcher, you want to keep your team in the game early,” said Kershaw, “then we can break through (offensively). … We’ve been scoring a lot of runs (lately), and that’s a sign of a good team.”
Kershaw improved his overall record to 9-2 and lowered his ERA to 2.04.
“He had one rough outing (an 18-7 loss to Arizona on May 17),” said Matt Kemp, who was 2 for 3 with an RBI Sunday, “and since then he’s been the best pitcher in the world. He’s getting better and better every year, and that’s hard to do. … It’s fun to watch.”
The victory also moved L.A. into a first-place tie with San Francisco in the National League West. Just three weeks ago, the Dodgers trailed the Giants by 9 ½ games in the division.

Clint Robinson’s confidence brimming on heels of his second major-league call-up.

Clint Robinson

Clint Robinson was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque on Thursday. (Getty Images)


This blog entry was written by Daily News intern Thuc Nhi Nguyen. Follow her on Twitter.

Making a major league team is always the dream, but Clint Robinson also knows the realities of life. The 29-year-old has a wife and mortgage hanging over his head. The first baseman who was called up from Triple-A Albuquerque two days ago admits that when he was in spring training with the Dodgers, he wasn’t eyeing a spot on the team’s big-league roster.

He was just looking for work.

“In the minor leagues, it can end like that,” Robinson said, snapping his fingers. “You have to go where you have the best chance to succeed and keep this as your job.”
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Don Mattingly: Dodgers’ defensive turnaround, daily drills “a coincidence.”

During a homestand in late May, when the Dodgers were hosting the Reds, Pirates and White Sox, infield drills became a regular occurrence each afternoon at Dodger Stadium. They were pre-planned, but they were beneficial At least one infielder, Dee Gordon, said at the time that the drills helped.

A month later, the stats would agree.

Through May 24, the Dodgers ranked third in baseball with 42 errors. Since May 25, the Dodgers’ eight errors are the fewest, tied with the Seattle Mariners through Thursday. Their .993 fielding percentage as a team ranks first and only two unearned runs have scored.

Compare those numbers to the start of the season (.978 fielding percentage, 28th in baseball, and 30 unearned runs in 50 games) and it’s clear something has changed.

Here’s what Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said about the late-May turning point: