Dodgers Highlights: Clayton Kershaw Ends Regular Season With Strong Start, Max Muncy Drives In Only Run To Complete Sweep Of Padres

Runs were at a premium during the series finale between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres on Thursday afternoon. Ultimately, an aggressive send by third base coach Dino Ebel proved to be the difference for the Dodgers in a 1-0 victory to complete a three-game sweep at Petco Park.

The game marked the final regular-season start for Clayton Kershaw as he gets ready for the postseason, and it went about as good as could have been expected for the left-hander.

Kershaw’s Achilles heel this season has been the first inning, and that was again the case on Thursday. He worked himself into a jam by giving up a double to Josh Naylor and then walking Hunter Renfroe with two outs.

That was all after a drive to center field was caught on the warning track. Kershaw was able to get a fly out to escape without any damage and found his groove from there.

Starting with that final out of the first inning, Kershaw retired 13 straight Padres and allowed just two hits over six shutout innings while striking out seven and walking one.

Kershaw earned the win and finished the season 16-5 with a 3.05 ERA and 1.05 WHIP with 188 strikeouts and 41 walks in 177.1 innings across 28 starts. This marks the first time since Kershaw’s rookie season in 2008 that he finished with an ERA above 3.00.

The only run of the game was scored in the top of the sixth inning. Chris Taylor did a nice job earning a two-out walk and then came all the way around from first to score on Max Muncy’s single to left-center field.

Ebel pressed the issue by waving Taylor home as Manuel Margot cut the ball off in the gap. Taylor was just able to slide in safely, aided by Austin Hedges’ failure to cleanly receive the throw.

That run was enough for the Dodgers bullpen, who turned in another stellar performance. It began with Dustin May, who tossed a perfect seventh as he continues to make his case for a postseason roster spot.

Pedro Baez and Kenta Maeda handled the eighth and ninth, respectively, with Kenley Jansen being down after pitching the last two nights.