LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw beat the Yankees for the first time with nine strikeouts over seven innings of four-hit ball, and Mookie Betts hit two more homers in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 8-4 victory over New York on Friday night.
Betts hit a leadoff homer and an RBI single during Los Angeles’ six-run, eight-hit first inning against Luis Severino (0-1). Betts finished 4 for 4 with three RBIs in his second straight two-homer game for the NL-leading Dodgers, who got off to an impressive start in this high-profile interleague series.
Kershaw (7-4) was 0-1 in four previous starts against the Yankees over his 16-year career, but the three-time Cy Young Award winner got a huge early cushion and didn’t falter after allowing early homers by Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson, who both returned from lengthy injury absences.
Kershaw eventually retired his final seven batters, earning a standing ovation from Dodger Stadium after recording his final out. He has now beaten every team in the majors except Baltimore. He has never faced the Orioles, but the Dodgers are headed to Camden Yards next month.
Donaldson hit two homers in his first game since April 5 for the Yankees, who have lost two straight after a four-game winning streak. Stanton and Donaldson, who also hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Phil Bickford, had both been sidelined since April with hamstring injuries, but their power wasn’t nearly enough.
A season-high 52,534 fans turned out for the latest meeting between major-market powerhouses and former New York rivals that have met in 11 World Series. The Yankees are making just their fifth trip to Chavez Ravine in the regular season and their first since August 2019.
Max Muncy added a two-run homer in the first, while J.D. Martinez homered and singled to extend his hitting streak to 16 games for the Dodgers. Betts hit his second homer in the sixth, and his eighth-inning single provided one last chance for Freddie Freeman to extend his 20-game hit streak — but the NL’s Player of the Month for May hit a 99-mph lineout to shortstop and finished 0 for 5.
Severino needed 34 pitches to get out of the first inning while allowing eight batted balls faster than 94 mph. His fastball averaged just 95 mph, down significantly from his season average.
Betts kicked off the night with a homer into the bullpen on Severino’s second pitch, hitting a leadoff homer in his second straight game. The blast was Betts’ 41st career leadoff homer, his 21st since joining the Dodgers and his fifth of the season, following his game-opening shot against Washington on Wednesday.
Martinez’s homer in the third was his eighth in 12 games, improving the NL’s best slugging percentage.
The Yankees’ third basemen batted .202 in Donaldson’s absence, but he immediately helped with a 446-foot homer in the second inning. Stanton followed in the fourth with a two-out solo shot traveling 417 feet — his 10th homer in 24 career games at the ballpark where the Los Angeles native grew up cheering on the Dodgers.
Los Angeles’ Jason Heyward had two hits while playing in left field for the first time in his 1,623-game major league career, which he has spent predominantly in right field. He said he hadn’t played an inning in left field since spring training in 2009.
Yankees: Carlos Rodón had a 30-pitch bullpen session that went well, according to manager Aaron Boone. Rodon has been out since spring training due to a sore left forearm and a back injury, but the $162 million left-hander should be ready to face live hitters soon.
Dodgers: Struggling Noah Syndergaard will stay in the Dodgers’ rotation for his next start Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts said. Syndergaard has a 6.54 ERA, but says he is healthy.
Gerrit Cole (6-0, 2.93 ERA) takes the mound in his native Southern California against the Dodgers’ Michael Grove (0-1, 8.44 ERA), who will make his first appearance since April due to a groin strain.