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Kershaw, Dodgers top Braves in NLDS opener


ATLANTA -- Clayton Kershaw struck out 12 in seven innings to lead visiting Los Angeles past Atlanta, 6-1 in the opening game of the National League Division Series on Thursday.

Adrian Gonzalez blasted a two-run homer and A.J. Ellis doubled twice and drove in a run as the Dodgers racked up 11 hits.

The Braves had just five hits and combined for 15 strikeouts against three Los Angeles pitchers.

Kershaw (1-0) allowed one run, three hits and three walks in a 124-pitch outing that earned him his first career postseason victory.

The left-hander struck out six consecutive batters in one stretch.

Skip Schumaker hit a sacrifice fly in the second and Ellis had an RBI double later in the frame before Gonzalez increased the lead to 4-0 in the third with his first career postseason homer off Kris Medlen (0-1).

Mark Ellis added a run-scoring single in the fourth.

The Braves got on the board in the bottom of the fourth when Chris Johnson stroked a run-scoring single. Hanley Ramirez doubled to right-center in the sixth to push the lead back to five.

GAME NOTEBOOK: A.J. Ellis, Mark Ellis, Gonzalez and RF Yasiel Puig had two hits apiece for Los Angeles. ... Medlen allowed five runs and nine hits in four-plus innings. ... RHP Zack Greinke starts Game 2 for the Dodgers against Atlanta LHP Mike Minor on Friday.
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