PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Aaron Altherr hit a grand slam, the first ever given up by Clayton Kershaw, to lead the Philadelphia Phillies past the Los Angeles Dodgers and their ace, 4-3 on Monday night.
Chris Taylor and Justin Turner led off the game with consecutive homers and Curtis Granderson also went deep for the Dodgers, who opened play with a magic number of four to clinch the NL West. At 96-54, Los Angeles still has the best record in baseball.
The Phillies have been a thorn in the side of Kerhshaw (17-4). The Dodgers’ ace left-hander dropped to 3-5 in his career versus Philadelphia, one of just three teams he has a losing record against.
The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner was cruising until the sixth, when he allowed a bloop single by Freddy Galvis between a pair of walks to load the bases for Altherr. The Phillies outfielder crushed Kershaw’s 1-1 breaking ball 418 feet to left to give Philadelphia a 4-2 advantage.
Kershaw departed after the sixth and allowed four runs on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
Galvis finished 2-for-3 off Kershaw and is batting .600 (6-for-10) lifetime against the left-hander.
Granderson homered to right with one out in the ninth to pull Los Angeles within one, but Hector Neris recovered to record his 22nd save in 25 chances.
Nick Pivetta (6-10) rebounded from a shaky start to earn the victory. The 24-year-old right-hander gave up two runs on four hits with eight strikeouts and two walks in six innings.
Taylor led off the game with an inside-the-park homer. His drive to left-center caromed hard off the metal fence above the wall and far away from center fielder Odubel Herrera, who came up short in his try for a leaping catch.
Turner followed with a drive into the left-field seats to put the Dodgers up 2-0.
Chase Utley went 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts and was lifted in the seventh for a pinch-hitter. The beloved former Phillies player, who helped Philadelphia to the 2008 World Series title, received a standing ovation before his first at-bat and loud cheers throughout the evening.
Dodgers: Manager Dave Roberts kept SS Corey Seager out of the starting lineup in order to rest and not because Seager had caused further damage to his sore right elbow. Seager struck out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth.
Dodgers RHP Yu Darvish (9-12, 4.08) opposes Phillies RHP Aaron Nola (11-10, 3.60) in the second game of the four-game set on Tuesday night.