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Dodgers looking like world-beaters


    Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, left, pumped his fist after striking out Kansas City’s Alcides Escobar to end the game on Sunday.

LOS ANGELES >> With Sandy Koufax watching on a 94-degree day, Clayton Kershaw was a model of efficiency in tossing a six-hitter.

“I wanted to do it for him,” Kershaw said.

The left-hander became the majors’ first 14-game winner, Justin Turner homered twice, and the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Kansas City Royals 5-2 on Sunday to complete their major league-best 10th sweep and sixth straight victory.

Kershaw struck out 13 on 99 pitches, becoming the first pitcher in major league history to strike out at least that many in a complete game with fewer than 100 pitches.

“It was a good way to end the first half,” he said after his first complete game of the season and 25th of his career. “It felt good to get out there and finish a game.”

The streaking Dodgers head into the All-Star break owning baseball’s best record of 61-29. They’ve won 18 of their last 19 at home, where they lead the majors with a 39-11 mark.

“Obviously, we just got slapped by the best team in baseball,” Royals starter Danny Duffy said.

Kershaw (14-2) allowed two runs and six hits and walked none to set the Dodgers’ record for most wins at the break. The old mark of 13 was held by Orel Hershiser, who had 13 in 1988, the last time the franchise won the World Series.

“He was Clayton-esque,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He had everything working.”

The seven-time All-Star, who won’t pitch in Tuesday’s showcase in Miami, has made 13 straight starts without a loss, going 10-0 with a 1.98 ERA and the Dodgers winning every game.

Roberts said Kershaw won’t pitch in the series at Miami after the All-Star break, giving him an extended rest.

“It would feel good to go out there and keep on winning games,” Kershaw said.

Duffy (5-5) gave up five runs and six hits in seven innings of his first career start at Dodger Stadium, located 150 miles from his hometown of Lompoc. He struck out nine and didn’t walk anyone.

“No walks really makes me happy,” Duffy said. “Strikeouts were there, I just didn’t execute on a couple of pitches.”

Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer went 3-for-4, drove in two runs and scored a run while extending his hitting streak to 15 games, but the Royals lost their third in a row.

“Definitely not how we wanted to end the break,” Hosmer said. “If anything, it was a bit of a wake-up call for us to see how good they are playing and we have to realize that we can’t make key mistakes.”

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