LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw would have welcomed a little help from the umpires in the ninth inning, if only to end the game a bit sooner. When he didn’t get it, the Dodgers’ ace finished off the Braves on his own.
He scattered nine hits and struck out nine while tying his career-best winning streak of 10 games in a 2-1 victory Thursday night that completed Los Angeles’ three-game sweep of Atlanta.
“Fortunately for us a lot of times he comes out on top,” catcher A.J. Ellis said. “He’s an amazing talent who is just as strong in the ninth as he is in the first. There’s no drop-off ever. We’re spoiled rotten.”
Kershaw (13-2) notched his second consecutive complete game for the second time in his career following his three-hit shutout at San Francisco last weekend. He is unbeaten in his last 11 starts with a 10-0 record since June 2. The left-hander beat the Braves for the first time during the regular season in his career.
“You want to be the same from the first inning to the ninth,” Kershaw said. “I got hurt this year at the beginning, but now I feel pretty strong.”
Kershaw had to work to close out the Braves in the ninth, when he finally gave up a run. With one out, B.J. Upton singled and advanced to third on Tommy La Stella’s single. Freddie Freeman went down swinging for the second out, bringing the cheering crowd of 51,163 to its feet.
But the Braves closed to 2-1 on Justin Upton’s infield single to third.
Juan Uribe charged to field the ball and fired to first, where Adrian Gonzalez stretched for the throw. Upton was called safe by umpire Mike Estabrook. Manager Don Mattingly challenged the call as the crowd grew rowdier. Kershaw crouched behind the mound waiting for a decision.
It took 2 1-2 minutes before the umpires upheld the call, putting the potential go-ahead run on first. Evan Gattis grounded out to shortstop to end the game.
“It looked really close. The umpire got it right,” Kershaw said. “It would have been nice to get that overturned.”
WHITE SOX 7, TIGERS 4
DETROIT — Moises Sierra had four hits, and Jose Abreu and Adam Eaton added three apiece to lift the White Sox.
The game quickly became a secondary concern in the Motor City when the Tigers acquired star left-hander David Price from Tampa Bay in a three-team deal.
Joakim Soria (1-4) — another pitcher recently acquired by Detroit — hit Paul Konerko with the bases loaded in the seventh to give the White Sox a 5-4 lead.
Abreu extended his hitting streak to 20 games.
Ronald Belisario (4-7) got the win in relief, and Jake Petricka pitched the ninth for his sixth save.
Detroit’s Torii Hunter and J.D. Martinez hit back-to-back homers in the third.
REDS 3, MARLINS 1
MIAMI — Cincinnati benefited from Major League Baseball’s new instant replay system and the rule preventing catchers from blocking to beat Miami.
Reds starter Johnny Cueto (12-6) struck out nine and allowed one run in seven innings and Ryan Ludwick drove in two runs. Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth for his 24th save.
Giancarlo Stanton hit his 25th home run for Miami and Tom Koehler (7-8) took the loss allowing two unearned runs in seven innings.
With the Marlins leading 1-0 in the top of the eighth, the Reds loaded the bases with one out. Bryan Morris got Todd Frazier to fly out to right fielder Stanton whose throw to the plate easily beat Zack Cozart for what appeared to be the final out of the inning when catcher Jeff Mathis tagged out Cozart, who trotted in without a slide.
However, after a 6-minute, 10-second instant replay review, the call was overturned because Mathis was ruled to be blocking the plate and Cozart was called safe tying the game 1-1.
Ludwick took advantage and followed with a two-run single to give the Reds a 3-1 lead.
PHILLIES 10, NATIONALS 4
WASHINGTON — Ben Revere tied a career-high with four hits and Philadelphia defeated Washington but might have lost starter Cliff Lee, who left in the third inning with an elbow injury.
Grady Sizemore had three hits and three RBIs as the Phillies pounded out 17 hits.
After throwing ball one to Denard Span with two outs, Lee walked off the mound, looked into the Phillies dugout, and tapped his left arm with his glove hand.
Lee, making his third start since missing two months, left the game, and the Phillies announced he had a recurrence of the flexor pronator strain that sidelined him in May.
Antonio Bastardo (5-4) retired Span, the only batter he faced.
Gio Gonzalez (6-7) failed to make it through four innings for the second time in three starts.
ANGELS 1, ORIOLES 0, 13 innings
BALTIMORE — Albert Pujols hit an RBI single in the 13th inning, and Los Angeles averted a three-game series sweep.
Tyler Skaggs and six relievers combined on a five-hitter, and David Freese matched a career high with four hits to help Los Angeles improve to 3-10 in one-run games on the road.
Skaggs had a no-hitter with two outs in the fifth inning before leaving with left forearm tightness. He was replaced by Mike Morin, who immediately gave up a bloop single to Caleb Joseph.
The Orioles didn’t get another hit until Joseph singled leading off the eighth.
In the 13th, Kole Calhoun drew a leadoff walk from Ryan Webb (3-2) and Mike Trout singled before Pujols lined a single past the drawn-in infield.
Hector Santiago (3-7) pitched two shutout innings and Huston Street got three outs for his fourth save since joining the Angels on July 18.
CARDINALS 6, PADRES 2
SAN DIEGO — Shelby Miller and three relievers combined on a three-hitter, and Oscar Taveras hit a two-run homer for St. Louis, which avoided a three-game series sweep.
The Cardinals acquired right-hander John Lackey from Boston just before the trade deadline to bolster their rotation. They begin a big series against NL Central-leading Milwaukee on Friday in St. Louis.
Miller (8-8) allowed two runs and three hits in six innings in his first win since June 7.
St. Louis roughed up rookie Odrisamer Despaigne (2-3) a day after playing what manager Mike Matheny called the team’s ugliest loss of the season, a 12-1 defeat Wednesday night.
Jedd Gyorko and Will Venable homered for San Diego. Despaigne allowed six runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings.
CUBS 3, ROCKIES 1
CHICAGO — Jake Arrieta struck out seven in seven innings, leading the Cubs to the win.
Arrieta (6-2) allowed one run and three hits in his first victory since June 30 at Boston. The right-hander has a 1.73 ERA in his last 11 starts, holding opponents to a .162 batting average.
The Cubs won three of four in a matchup of last-place teams. The Rockies have lost four of five and 11 of 15 overall.
Pedro Hernandez (0-1) allowed three runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings in his first start for Colorado.
Hector Rondon got three outs for his 14th save in 17 opportunities. He retired three straight after Nolan Arenado and Justin Morneau singled to start the ninth.
The Cubs made one trade on the non-waiver deadline day, sending utilityman Emilio Bonifacio, reliever James Russell and cash to Atlanta for catching prospect Victor Caratini.
BLUE JAYS 6, ASTROS 5
HOUSTON — Nolan Reimold hit two home runs, including a tiebreaking solo shot in the ninth, and Toronto rallied for a win.
Reimold’s first homer came in the fifth and cut Houston’s lead to 4-3. His second homer of the season was off Chad Qualls (1-3) and sent Toronto to its ninth win in 10 games. It was Reimold’s second career multihomer game and first since May 26, 2011.
Jose Bautista and Dioner Navarro also had solo homers for Toronto. Bautista connected for his 21st homer in the first, and Navarro tied it at four with his eighth in the sixth.
Aaron Sanchez (2-0) threw two scoreless innings for the win, and Casey Janssen pitched the ninth for his 18th save.
DIAMONDBACKS 7, PIRATES 4
PHOENIX — Andy Marte hit a two-run home run and Aaron Hill added a solo shot in the sixth inning to power Arizona.
Nick Ahmed hit the Diamondbacks’ third home run, an eighth-inning solo shot that was the first of his major-league career.
ROYALS 6, TWINS 3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Alcides Escobar hit a two-run triple and Yordano Ventura pitched seven effective innings for Kansas City.
Escobar’s triple highlighted a four-run seventh. The inning also included Jarrod Dyson’s run-scoring single. Dyson stole second and third and scored on catcher Eric Fryer’s throwing error.
Ventura (8-8) limited the Twins to two runs, one earned, on five hits, while striking out seven.
Danny Santana led off the game with a home run. Mike Moustakas committed two throwing errors in the third to gift the Twins with an unearned run.
Caleb Thielbar (2-1) retired only one of three batters he faced for Minnesota.
Kurt Suzuki hit a pinch RBI-double in the eighth off Wade Davis, the first extra-base the Royals right-hander allowed in 46 innings. Greg Holland earned his 29th save.
Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer fractured his finger and will miss three to six weeks.