LA 6 0 2 0 0 6 0 0 0 14
ChiCub 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 5
Date of game: 9/19/2014

Recap: Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles

Chicago, IL ( - Clayton Kershaw's 20th win was his easiest of the season, but he was far away from having his best stuff.

Good thing the Los Angeles Dodgers' bats came out smoking hot.

Matt Kemp smacked a three-run homer in a six-run Los Angeles first inning, Kershaw labored through five frames and the Dodgers routed the Chicago Cubs, 14-5, in the second test of a four-game set.

The Dodgers clinched a playoff spot later Friday after Pittsburgh defeated Milwaukee.

Kershaw (20-3), who is vying to become the first NL pitcher in 46 years to win the MVP award, allowed three first-inning runs and wiggled out of some tough jams en route to becoming MLB's first 20-game winner. It's the second 20-win campaign of his career.

"I like the position our team's in and 20 wins has helped them get there," Kershaw said.

Kershaw pitched out of a 1st-and-3rd jam in the second, struck out Arismendy Alcantara and Javier Baez to escape the fourth after the Cubs put runners on second and third with one out and fanned Chris Valaika to end the fifth with a runner in scoring position.

The southpaw struck out nine and surrendered seven hits and three walks in his sixth straight win. His ERA stands at a minuscule 1.80 on the year.

"Twenty is obviously kind of a benchmark for a starting pitcher," Kershaw said. "I wasn't great today, we scored 14 runs."

A.J. Ellis cracked a pair of two-run shots and Yasiel Puig added a three-run blast for Los Angeles, which has won five of its last seven games and is 3 1/2 games ahead of San Francisco for first place in the NL West.

Edwin Jackson (6-15), who was activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to the game, was roughed up for five runs on four hits and a walk over just two- thirds of an inning for the Cubs.

"Pretty sloppy year to say the least, pretty much how it's been all year," Jackson said.

In the first, Puig worked a one-out walk, Adrian Gonzalez singled and Kemp launched his three-run jack deep into the bleachers in left-center. Hanley Ramirez doubled and scored on Juan Uribe's single two batters later. Ellis' two-run shot into the front row of seats in left-center made it 6-0.

Alcantara worked a leadoff walk in the home half and scored on an Anthony Rizzo double two batters later. Jorge Soler then lined a triple down the right-field line to plate Rizzo and later scored on pinch-hitter Rafael Lopez's sacrifice fly.

The Dodgers pushed across two runs in the third and six more in the sixth to blow the game open.

Ellis' second two-run shot in the third made it 8-3, while Puig's three-run blast deep into the bleachers in left in the sixth highlighted that frame. Ramirez also hit an RBI double and Carl Crawford added a two-run single in that inning to make it 14-3.

Alcantara had an RBI double and John Baker added a run-scoring single in the ninth for Chicago.

Game Notes

Ramirez finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI ... Jackson had been out since Aug. 21 with a right lat strain ... The Dodgers were 5-for-11 with runners in scoring position, while Chicago finished 4-for-13.

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