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Kershaw blanks Cardinals; Berkman hurt

May 20, 2012 - 6:20 AM Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Clayton Kershaw continued his impressive pitching at home by tossing a six-hit shutout, as the Los Angeles Dodgers pounded St. Louis, 6-0, to win their third straight game.

Kershaw (4-1), who had four strikeouts without issuing a walk, has won 14 of his last 15 home decisions, going 14-1 with a 1.40 ERA in his last 18 starts at Dodger Stadium. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner posted his fourth career shutout.

Andre Ethier had two hits and an RBI and Justin Sellers homered for the Dodgers, who have won six in a row over the Cardinals.

Yadier Molina and Matt Holliday each had two hits for the Cardinals, who may be without first baseman Lance Berkman for an extended period of time. Berkman was helped off the field at the conclusion of the second inning with a right knee injury.

Berkman stretched to make the catch at first after a routine ground ball hit to shortstop Rafael Furcal off the bat of Sellers. Berkman seemed to put pressure on his right knee before he crumpled to the ground. He was assisted off the field by manager Mike Matheny and an assistant trainer Chris Conroy. Berkman will be evaluated Sunday, but for now it's described as a mild strain of his right knee. Berkman cannot get full extension of his right leg.

"That's the nature of the game," Matheny said. "It's an opportunity for someone else to step in. That's how we look at it. We just have to play better."

Jake Westbrook (4-3) allowed six hits and four runs -- three earned -- over 6 1/3 innings as the Cardinals lost for the seventh time in nine games.

Matt Carpenter, who replaced Berkman in the field, committed an error that led to the first two runs of the game. Bobby Abreu walked to lead off the bottom of the fourth and Ethier followed with a ground-rule double to left. Adam Kennedy then hit a bouncer to Carpenter, but the ball glanced off his glove and went into right field for a 2-0 contest.

The Dodgers added four runs in the seventh, the first on a Sellers one-out blast over the wall in left. Kershaw then doubled to left when Holliday failed to make an over-the-shoulder grab as the ball popped out of his glove. Eduardo Sanchez was greeted by an RBI ground single from Tony Gwynn Jr. Abreu walked with two outs to put runners at the corners, and a wild pitch brought home the fifth run. Ethier then grounded a base hit to center, plating Abreu.

Kershaw gave up a single to Holliday in the ninth, but Carpenter then grounded into a game-ending double play.

"The first couple of innings I threw mainly fastballs," Kershaw said. "Once I established that I used my breaking ball and that got them out. They have a great lineup. If they lose Berkman for any length of time it will be a big blow for them."

Game Notes

A.J. Ellis had a pair of doubles for the Dodgers and has reached base safely in 28 straight games, the longest active streak in the majors...The Dodgers have placed second baseman Mark Ellis on the 15-day disabled list due to a left leg injury. Infielder Ivan De Jesus was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque to take Ellis' roster spot...This is the Dodgers' longest winning streak against the Cardinals since an eight-game run from July 24, 1975-May 12, 1976.