Kershaw suffers first late-inning loss of 2011

Everything was falling into place for the Dodgers' first road sweep of the season. Clayton Kershaw, after allowing a walk and home run to his first two batters, was on a roll, retiring 18 of his next 21 batters, while the Dodgers pushed across one run in the fifth inning (on a rare James Loney home run) and two more in the sixth to take a 3-2 lead.

But after Collin Cowgill singled with one out in the bottom of the seventh, Cody Ransom came to bat. Ransom had 26 home runs this year, but all of them were in the minors, where he had spent the 2011 season until two weeks ago.

The ball went out of the park, and so did the Dodgers' sweep. Kershaw and Los Angeles had lost, 4-3.

Kershaw took a lead into the seventh inning or later for the 16th time in 24 starts this season, and this was only the third time that he had let a slip away. More than that, it was the first time all year that Kershaw was charged with a loss after having led a game in the seventh inning or later.

  • April 21 vs. Atlanta: One strike away from a complete-game, 2-1 victory, Kershaw allows a two-run single to David Ross. But the Dodgers tie the game in the bottom of the ninth and win in the 12th on a Matt Kemp walkoff home run.

  • June 9 at Colorado: Leading 4-0 in the sixth and 7-3 in the seventh, Kershaw allows seven of nine baserunners to reach base over the course of those two innings. Six of them score in what becomes a 9-7 Dodger defeat.

Suffice it to say, what happened to Kershaw today was pretty shocking. And yet, given the Dodgers decidedly uneven fortunes this season, not too shocking.