Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Clayton Kershaw polished off a brilliant month of June with a 13-strikeout performance on Sunday, and the Los Angeles Dodgers took a 6-0 decision from the St. Louis Cardinals in the finale of a four-game set.
Kershaw (9-2) scattered five hits with two walks over seven scoreless innings to win his sixth straight decision, all in June.
"As a starting pitcher, you try to make it through the first three or four innings for your team," said Kershaw. "(St. Louis) is a veteran team over there. I just tried to take advantage of some of their weaknesses."
The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner went 6-0 with a minuscule 0.82 ERA and 61 strikeouts in six starts throughout the month, highlighted by his first career no-hitter on June 18 against Colorado.
If all that wasn't enough, Kershaw is in the midst of a 28-inning scoreless streak.
Andre Ethier hit a three-run homer, while Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig each scored twice for the Dodgers, who have won 10-of-13 and tied the San Francisco Giants for first atop the NL West.
St. Louis starter Shelby Miller (7-7) was charged with the loss after allowing six runs on seven hits and three walks over five innings on the hill.
"They threw the ball well," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of the Dodgers' rotation throughout the series. "We expect to score runs. It's one of those things we have to fight and figure it out."
Kershaw opened the game with two strikeouts in a scoreless first inning, then Miller one-upped his counterpart in the home half by striking out the side in order.
Yadier Molina doubled to lead off the second, but Kershaw pitched around trouble with strikeouts to Peter Bourjos and Shane Robinson before Mark Ellis grounded out to end the inning.
Kershaw continued to mow through the Cardinals order in the third, although he had to contend with another threat. Miller was called out on strikes to begin the frame and Matt Carpenter followed with his second hit of the day, a single to right. As Matt Holliday struck out swinging on a breaking ball in the dirt, Carpenter swiped second for his third stolen base of the season.
After a walk to Jhonny Peralta, Kershaw froze Allen Craig with a backdoor curveball to end the inning.
Miller was up to the task in opposing one of baseball's best, easily getting through the first eight Los Angeles hitters before issuing a two-out walk to Kershaw in the third. Dee Gordon stepped in and ripped a line drive to Craig at first for the third out.
The Dodgers southpaw continued his barrage with two more punchouts in the fourth, marking nine of the first 12 outs coming via the strikeout.
Los Angeles finally broke through against Miller in the fourth. Puig drew a walk to begin the inning and Gonzalez alertly placed a bunt down the third- base line to beat the shift for the Dodgers' first hit of the day.
Matt Kemp then muscled a single out to center that scored Puig and Juan Uribe skied a sacrifice fly out to center two batters later for a 2-0 edge.
"We've been scoring in a lot of different ways," said Kershaw. "That's the sign of good team."
A big second inning lifted the Dodgers to a 9-1 win on Saturday, and LA used a four-run fifth on Sunday to break it open.
With two outs, Puig legged out a double and scored on Gonzalez's single to center. Matt Kemp followed with a double to move Gonzalez over to third and Ethier chased them home with a towering drive to right that pushed the margin to 6-0.
"Clayton set the tone early," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "Adrian's bunt was big for us in the fourth and Andre's homer was huge. I feel good about the way we're playing."
Brandon League and Jamey Wright each pitched a scoreless inning in relief of Kershaw to finish off the shutout.