Kershaw looked decent in his second start since returning from the injured list, throwing six full innings on 80 pitches and surrendering one earned run on seven hits and a walk while striking out seven.
Some of the most exciting news of the day was seeing both Max Muncy and Justin Turner notch three hits apiece in what are hopefully breakouts from season-long offensive slumps. Justin contributed with two doubles and an RBI, while Muncy hit a solo homer in the fifth inning that pushed the Los Angeles lead to five runs.
The newly acquired Trayce Thompson contributed with a big hit for the second consecutive day after blasting a solo homer to left field in the top of the ninth.
Shortstop Trea Turner also had a big game for the Dodgers, going 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI of his own. Trea’s three hits elevated his team-leading batting average to .312.
In addition, Freddie Freeman belted his eighth home run of the season, suggesting he may be coming out of his mini slump, at least by the Freddie Freeman standards we all know. The 32-year-old lefty slugger still leads the team with a .880 OPS.
If there was any bad news, it was once again a Los Angeles bullpen that allowed a game that should have been a blowout to get close.
Righty Phil Bickford took over for Kershaw by starting the seventh inning, but ultimately ended up being charged with four earned runs on four hits, with the biggest blow being a three-run homer of the bat of Joc Pederson’s prime nemesis, Tommy Pham. By the time Yency Almonte bailed out Bickford at the end of the seventh, Cincinnati had cut an 8-1 deficit down to three runs.
Kershaw improved his record to 5-1, while Cincinnati starter Hunter Greene fell to 3-8.
The Dodgers immediately head to Atlanta to start a three-game set against the Braves, who currently sit in second place in the NL East, four games behind the Mets.
Sunday’s finale will be an evening national broadcast handled by ESPN.