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Clayton Kershaw outduels Tim Lincecum; Dioner Navarro homers in Dodgers' 1-0 win

July 20, 2011 |  3:31 pm


A terrific pitching duel on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon. Dodger Clayton Kershaw and Giant Tim Lincecum looked exactly like two of the game’s finest young pitchers.

It was one of those tense games in which a manufactured run or a costly error could make all the difference. Maybe anything save for -- a Dioner Navarro home run?

Only that’s exactly what happened, Navarro ended a scoreless game in the seventh inning with a solo home run down the right-field line that landed in McCovey Cove.

End of scoring.

The rest was left to Kershaw, who was absolutely magnificent. He went eight innings, striking out a season-high 12 to push his major-leading strikeout total to 167, walked only one and held the Giants to three hits in the Dodgers’ 1-0 victory in San Francisco.

Kershaw (11-4) now has not allowed a run in his last 25 innings. Rookie closer Javy Guerra threw a scoreless ninth to earn his sixth save.

And Kershaw had to be that good, because the long-haired Lincecum was only a half-step behind.

Lincecum went seven-plus innings, striking out seven and holding the Dodgers to seven hits.

One of them, of course, was the bomb from Navarro. A blast so unexpected, Lincecum may still not believe it.

For the Dodgers, the victory snapped a four-game losing streak and a six-game skid against the Giants.

The game marked the Dodgers’ first without hitting coach Jeff Pentland, who was fired before the game. Without Pentland, the Dodgers went 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Yet Navarro -- who had two throwing errors Wednesday -- made none of it matter when he led off the seventh with his third home run of the season.

Navarro became only the second Dodger to send a ball into McCovey Cove, the other coming 11 years ago from an almost equally unlikely source, catcher Todd Hundley.

The Dodgers finished their first road trip after the All-Star break 2-4 and were left 13½ games behind the Giants in the National League West.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Clayton Kershaw struck out 12 in the 1-0 victory. Credit: John Mabanglo, EPA.