MILWAUKEE — With speculation that Don Mattingly could be fired sometime this week, the Los Angeles Dodgers manager needed Clayton Kershaw to pitch well in the worst way.
Boy, did the star left-hander come through for Donnie Baseball.
Kershaw scattered three singles in his second complete game of the year and Matt Kemp hit his first home run since April 24, lifting the Dodgers to a 3-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.
“Every time I get in trouble, Kersh saves me,” Mattingly joked. “One more day.”
Kershaw (5-2) struck out five and walked one.
“We obviously hear the stuff that’s going around,” Kershaw said about the speculation. “I don’t think we need any extra added motivation to play better, but we want to do well for Donnie.
“We’ve always wanted to play well. He’s a great manager and a great person, and we know it’s up to us. He can’t go out there and play.”
Before the game, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said his manager is “doing fine” and has kept the team steady despite its last-place showing in the NL West.
Mattingly said he talked with team president Stan Kasten within the past couple of days and didn’t get any indication he was about to be replaced.
“As far as any kind of rumors or whatever they are, I talked to Stan the other day. He didn’t fire me that day,” Mattingly said. “I’m still here. Ned didn’t tell me I wasn’t going to be here tomorrow or today. That’s the way I look at it.”
New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez started his third week of on-field work by adding defensive drills and hitting in a cage. The 37-year-old is recuperating from left-hip surgery Jan. 16. First baseman Mark Teixeira, sidelined by a right-wrist injury, took another step toward playing in minor-league games by batting in a simulated game against two minor-league pitchers.
The New York Mets signed right-handed reliever David Aardsma, a former Mariners closer, to a minor-league contract and assigned him to Class AAA Las Vegas.
Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz is headed to the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring and first baseman Ryan Howard is day to day with a sore left knee.
The Texas Rangers designated right-hander Derek Lowe for assignment, clearing the way for Josh Lindblom to make his first major-league start against Oakland.
The Boston Red Sox activated relief pitcher Andrew Bailey from the 15-day DL.
The Minnesota Twins recalled left-hander Caleb Thielbar.
Outfielder Bryce Harper was back in the Washington Nationals’ lineup after missing two games because of a bruised left knee. He went 0 for 4 against the Giants.