(The Sports Xchange) - Clayton Kershaw allowed just two hits and struck out six through a seven-inning shutout effort as the Los Angeles Dodgers evened the National League Championship Series with a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night.
Kershaw, now 2-0 in the postseason, surrendered back-to-back Cubs hits in the fifth inning but little else as the Dodgers ace retired 14 straight batters over the first five innings.
Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks (0-1) gave up just one run on three hits and took the loss in a 5 1/3-inning outing.
An Adrian Gonzalez second-inning home run provided the Dodgers’ lone run.
Kershaw was replaced by right-hander Kenley Jansen, who threw two perfect innings, including four strikeouts.
He struck out pinch hitter Miguel Montero, who supplied Saturday’s heroics with an eighth-inning grand slam home run, and struck out two in a perfect ninth against the top of the Cubs order for his third postseason save.
The Dodgers chased Hendricks and threatened in the sixth with two runners on base. But they came up empty as reliever Carl Edwards Jr. got Joc Pederson to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Hendricks struck out five, walked four and threw 91 pitches.
Right-hander Mike Montgomery — the third Cubs pitcher of the night — had runners at first and second in the seventh, but Corey Seager lined to left to end the inning and avert any damage.
Gonzalez opened a 1-0 Dodgers lead with his second-inning home run to left on a 1-0 Hendricks pitch. It was his second homer of the postseason. On Saturday, he contributed a two-run eighth-inning single that tied the game at 3-3.
While Hendricks allowed just one early run, the Dodgers still made him work. Through three innings, he had already thrown 56 pitches but got back at Gonzalez with an inning-ending strikeout. By the close of the fifth, it was 83.
Anthony Rizzo nearly made it 1-1 in the fourth with a drive out of the park down the right-field line that twisted foul. Kershaw otherwise efficiently retired 14 consecutive Cubs until Javier Baez and Willson Contreras lined two-out back-to-back singles in the fifth.
The teams have Monday off in Los Angeles before resuming the series with Game 3 on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
Editing by Ian Rodricks