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Clayton Kershaw pitched his way to freedom while earning his first win in 2 1/2 months.

The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner won’t be facing any further restrictions in his next start after a solid outing in the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ 8-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

Five Dodgers homered including Max Muncy with a pair Frans Nielsen Jersey Kids , and the team’s six homers were the most they’ve hit at home since also launching six on Sept. 9, 2013, against Arizona.

”You want to get guys back in the dugout as fast as possible the way they’re swinging the bats,” said Kershaw, who was limited by a pitch count in his last three outings.

Ivan Nova (4-6) became the first pitcher in Pirates history to give up five homers in a game. Pittsburgh has been outscored 25-4 in the first two games of the series.

”They’re horses over there. It’s a stacked team,” Pirates third baseman David Freese said. ”They’ve just got really good approaches right now and they’re on time, all of them are on time.”

The Dodgers have 11 homers three days into July and 122 so far this season after slugging a major league-leading and franchise-record 55 in June.

”It’s pretty remarkable what we’re doing,” manager Dave Roberts said. ”When I look at what we’ve accomplished offensively, we’re in some uncharted territory.”

Kershaw (2-4) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings of his third start since coming off the disabled list. The left-handed ace’s two strikeouts were against Nova and Kershaw didn’t walk anyone to earn his first victory since April 15 at Arizona. He had two losses and four straight no-decisions since.

”His velo is down a little bit but he’s still got that cutter and he works it. He’s just a guy that locates,” Freese said. ”You can sense when he’s out there that he trusts every pitch he’s about to throw. That’s that makes him really good.”

Kershaw had not gone as late as July 3 with just one win since his rookie year in 2008 when he didn’t earn his second victory until Aug. 7.

”It’s kind of what we wanted,” Roberts said of Kershaw. ”The fifth and sixth innings were probably the best for me. The ball came out well. We can feel confident going forward the reins are off.”

Joc Pederson and Muncy homered back-to-back for the second straight game.

Pederson sent Nova’s first pitch of the game over the right-field wall and Muncy followed with a shot to center field for a 2-0 lead.

”They have a really good lineup but we’ve got to be able to do a better job than that,” Nova said.

Muncy led off the third with his team-high 20th homer for a 3-1 lead.

”I never thought I could hit this many home runs in such a short amount of time,” said Muncy, who has played in just 63 games this season.

Freese provided the lone bright spot for the Pirates, going 3 for 3 with a pair of RBI singles that twice cut the Dodgers’ lead to one run, and a solo homer off reliever Yimi Garcia.

Chris Taylor kept the slugfest going in the fourth with a two-run shot that made it 5-2. He went 3 for 4 with a strikeout and finished a single shy of hitting for the cycle.

”It seems to be contagious up and down the lineup, which makes it fun in the dugout,” Taylor said.

Yasmani Grandal led off the sixth with a homer and Taylor doubled to deep center field to chase Nova.

Nova gave up a season-high seven earned runs and nine hits http://www.texansauthorizedshops.com/authentic-keke-coutee-jersey , struck out three and walked two in five innings.

”It’s not fun to give up that many homers,” Nova said. ”Sometimes you give up that many runs and you don’t feel that bad, but giving up five homers is too much.”

Nova’s replacement didn’t fare any better. Enrique Hernandez blasted a two-run homer on the first pitch from Dovydas Neverauskas, extending the Dodgers’ lead to 8-2.

Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp’s run of eight hits in eight consecutive at-bats ended when he struck out to end the first. One night after tying a career high with five hits, including a three-run homer, Kemp was hitless in four at-bats with two other strikeouts.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: RHP Joe Musgrove (right index finger infection) went on the DL retroactive to June 30. He was scheduled to start Wednesday’s series finale.

Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler was moved to the DL retroactive to June 29. He began a rehab assignment for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.

UP NEXT

RHP Clay Holmes (0-0, 2.25 ERA) will replace Musgrove in the series finale on Wednesday. Dodgers LHP Rich Hill (1-3, 4.68) took a no-hitter into extra innings in Pittsburgh last August before allowing a walk-off solo homer in the 10th.



Mike Foltynewicz loves trying to one-up his fellow hurlers in the Atlanta Braves red-hot pitching rotation.

He kept even with cohorts by tossing five shutout innings and Freddie Freeman homered as the Atlanta Braves held off the St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 on Sunday.

”It’s like a friendly competition with a fun group of guys,” Foltynewicz said. ”It’s a good vibe.”

The Braves outscored St. Louis 22-10 in sweeping a three-game series in St. Louis for the first time since May 11-13, 2012.

Tommy Pham homered for St. Louis, which has lost four in a row. The Cardinals scored five times in the seventh to rally from a 6-0 deficit.

Foltynewicz matched Julio Teheran and Max Fried to post the Braves third successive scoreless appearance by a starter. Teheran tossed six scoreless innings a 5-1 win on Friday. Fried did not allow a run in 6 2-3 innings of an 11-4 victory on Saturday.

”They’ve been awesome,” said Atlanta infielder Charlie Culberson, who had two hits and drove in two runs on Sunday, ”It makes it easier for us (hitters). A little bit more relaxed for us going up there.”

Foltynewicz (6-4) surrendered one hit – a fourth-inning single to Marcell Ozuna. He struck out nine and walked three in an 86-pitch outing.

”He never gave in, he kept grinding,” manager Brian Snitker said.

Foltynewicz has allowed just two hits and one run over 10 innings in two outings since coming off the disabled list with tightness in his right tricepts on June 25.

”He was kind of wildly effective,” St. Louis infielder Kolten Wong said. ”When you’re throwing as hard as he was, it makes it tough.”

The Braves three starters allowed seven hits over 17 2-3 innings with 24 strikeouts in the series.

”We’ve been feeding off each other http://www.coltsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-quenton-nelson-jersey ,” Foltynewicz said. ”We’re always pulling for each other, pushing each other, asking questions. We hang around together and you can see that we take it out to the mound. It’s been a really fun time.”

A.J. Minter picked up his third save in as many tries by setting the side down in order in the ninth. He has not allowed a run in his last seven appearances.

Freeman’s 16th homer of the season, a two-run drive, pushed the lead to 3-0 in sixth. The blow highlighted a five-run uprising that also included a run-scoring hit from Culberson.

Pham hit a three-run homer off Peter Moylan in the seventh to bring the Cardinals to within 6-5.

St. Louis starter John Gant (2-3) allowed four runs on four hits over 5 1-3 innings.

”I’ve definitely got to do better,” Gant said. ”Came out on the losing end, so anytime that happens, improvements need to be made.”

Francisco Pena had a two-run single in the seventh for St. Louis, which will play 17 of its next 20 games on the road.

The Braves have been in first place or tied for first in 60 of the last 62 days. They kicked off their 10-game road trip in style.

”To come out and win the first three games, that’s really nice,” Culberson said. ”But this series is done. We took care of business. Time to move on.”

Atlanta infielder Ozzie Albies extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a sixth-inning single.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: C Tyler Flowers returned to the starting lineup after missing Saturday’s game. He suffered a muscle cramp in the sixth inning of Friday’s 5-1 win.

Cardinals: RHP Luke Gregerson began a rehab stint with Triple-A Memphis on Sunday. He did not allow a hit over one inning. Gregerson was placed on the 10-day disabled list with shoulder impingement on May 16.

UP NEXT

Braves RHP Anibal Sanchez (3-2, 2.68) will face RHP Jonathan Loaisiga (2-0, 1.93) in the first of a three-game series against the Yankees in New York. Sanchez is 4-1 in six lifetime starts against the Yankees.

Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (4-4, 3.22) takes on Arizona LHP Robbie Ray (3-0, 4.01) in the opener of a three-game series in Arizona that kicks off a nine-game road trip. Martinez is 2-0 in three starts at Chase Field.