How it happened: Facing the Rangers for the first time, Kershaw -- who grew up in Dallas -- looked a little more animated (or is that aggravated?) when things began unraveling early. After rookie Joey Gallo hit a moon-shot home run very nearly to the top of the right-field pavilion in the third inning, Kershaw got the final out and calmly walked off the mound, but erupted in the dugout. He slammed his glove off the bench, picked up a towel and whipped it down, then yanked off his cap and threw that, too. The Rangers added to Kershaw's frustration while scoring an unearned run in the fourth, all while scarcely making contact. Adam Rosales reached first on a strikeout/A.J. Ellis passed ball, went to second on Kershaw’s balk and scored on Rougned Odor's bouncing single up the middle. Kershaw struck out the side -- and had 10 for the game -- but the Dodgers were in a 4-0 hole before they batted in the fourth inning. They snapped a run of offensive futility and finally rallied off Wandy Rodriguez, with Scott Van Slyke hammering a two-run home run and Alex Guerrero adding a pinch-hit RBI single to make it 4-3 in the sixth. But they could do nothing further against the Texas bullpen, and Prince Fielder connected for an opposite-field home run off rookie Josh Ravin in the ninth.
What it means: It's not as if the Dodgers are in a full-scale slump -- they have won five of their last nine games and gained ground in the standings -- but they appear to be in need of a spark in their everyday lineup.
Notable: Yasiel Puig has been one of the Dodgers' few productive hitters over the past couple of weeks, but he has been displaying some frustration lately. He broke a bat over his leg Tuesday in Texas and looked like he wanted to do it again after he popped up in the second inning Monday to strand two runners. He carried the bat two-thirds of the way to first before chucking it away in disgust ... Adrian Gonzalez was one of the few left-handed hitters in the lineup against Rodriguez. His slump continued though, as he flew out deep to left field in the third inning. Gonzalez was 0-for-3 off Rodriguez and now is batting .208 in his last 19 games ... The Dodgers wasted leadoff doubles in both the first and second innings ... According to ESPN Stats and Info, Gallo's home run went 439 feet, making it the second-longest Kershaw has allowed in the major leagues. Ryan Spilborghs hit one 441 feet off him six years ago... The Dodgers asked umpire Chad Fairchild to check on Texas closer Keone Kela's equipment and Fairchild had Kela remove a sleeve that he was wearing on his left elbow. Kela twice threw up-and-in to Puig.
Up next: The teams finish off what will amount to a home-and-home four-game series Thursday night at 7:10 p.m. PT. Zack Greinke (5-2, 1.95 ERA) will try to pick up his first win since May 5 despite a 2.28 ERA in that span. He’ll be opposed by Anthony Ranaudo (0-1, 32.40 ERA), who is filling in for injured Derek Holland.