LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw made another run at a hallowed place in Dodgers history and, unlike the night he threw his nearly perfect no-hitter, this time he came up short.
Kershaw's streak of consecutive scoreless innings ended at 41 -- 18 short of Orel Hershiser's major-league record -- during the Dodgers' 2-1 win over the San Diego Padres on Thursday night. Still, it was a remarkable, even historic run of pitching. In Hershiser's 59 innings, he struck out 40 batters. In Kershaw's 41, he struck out 50.
How it happened: Kershaw hung a 1-and-2 slider and Chase Headley hammered it over the wall in left-center field in the sixth inning. Voila, that ended Kershaw's scoreless streak. After Kershaw completed the inning by striking out Carlos Quentin, he got a nice ovation from a sellout crowd but hardly seemed to acknowledge it.
The Dodgers had their share of issues with San Diego's crafty young starter, Odrisamer Despaigne, who generally baffled them for seven innings. Yasiel Puig managed to score a run after a leadoff double in the first and Hanley Ramirez created another by singling, stealing a base and advancing on a wayward throw, but that was it.
The Padres, who have the worst offense in baseball, didn't give themselves much of a chance to win by making four errors.
Hits: The complete list of pitchers who have thrown as many or more consecutive scoreless innings as Kershaw just pulled off since 1961: Hershiser, Don Drysdale (58), Bob Gibson (47), Brandon Webb (42) and Luis Tiant (41). So, yeah, it was a good accomplishment. And, hey, he's only 26. He'll have other chances. He pitched three straight scoreless to end the game, so that's a start. Run or not, it was more of the same stuff from Kershaw, who pitched an 11-strikeout complete game and gave up only three hits.
Misses: The middle of the Dodgers' order hasn’t been putting much of a scare into opponents. Ramirez has been in and out of the lineup and has hit one home run in the last month. Adrian Gonzalez has two extra-base hits this month. Puig has generally been productive, but he had a couple of poor at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Stat of the game: Of the 149 batters Kershaw faced leading into Headley's home run, only three of them got as far as third base.