Clayton Kershaw felt strong – if not quite effective – in his return from the disabled list. That was good enough for the Los Angeles Dodgers. They had muscle to spare against the New York Mets. Kershaw and Jacob deGrom stumbled in an unexpected ace showdown Jordan Mills Jersey , Matt Kemp hit a pinch grand slam and the Dodgers won 8-3 on Saturday night. The Dodgers have won 11 straight against the Mets dating to May 2016, matching their best run in the rivalry. Los Angeles beat New York 11 straight times in 1963-64. Kershaw gave up two runs over three innings in a surprise return from a lower back strain. He threw 55 pitches, starting out strong before laboring through his final inning. ”Good to be back,” Kershaw said. ”Now I can focus on getting better.” Left-handed rookie Caleb Ferguson (1-1) replaced him and escaped a couple tight situations over four scoreless innings for his first major league win. DeGrom (5-3) allowed three earned runs in six innings, including Max Muncy’s 14th home run in the first. He entered the game with a major league-leading 1.51 ERA and hadn’t allowed three earned runs in a game since April 16 against Washington. New York has lost five straight overall and 12 of 13 at home. The Mets have scored four or fewer runs in 15 straight home games dating to May 20. Some fans at Citi Field were wearing paper bags over their heads by the end of the game. ”It was tough tonight,” said Brandon Nimmo, who had three hits for New York. Kemp cleared the bases during a five-run eighth inning with his eighth career slam and 13th home run this season. Chris Taylor had a key two-run pinch double, and Los Angeles won for the 24th time in 33 games. KERSHAW BUILDING UP Kershaw was scheduled to make a rehab start with Triple-A Oklahoma City at Omaha, but Los Angeles decided Friday to have him pitch in New York because of precarious weather in Nebraska. The lefty ace had been sidelined since June 1. Kershaw was electric in the first inning, freezing leadoff man Nimmo on a curveball for a three-pitch strikeout and catching Todd Frazier looking for a five-pitch K. The three-time Cy Young Award winner wasn’t as sharp after that. Michael Conforto and Jose Bautista lined consecutive doubles in the second inning to tie it at 1 Ramon Humber Jersey , and Kershaw threw 25 pitches in the third inning, including an RBI single by Wilmer Flores to put New York ahead 2-1. Kershaw struck out four, walked one and allowed five hits before Taylor hit for him in the fourth. Kershaw was expected to be limited to roughly 60 pitches, and he threw an extra simulated inning inside after being replaced. ”The most important thing, he came out of it feeling good, feeling strong,” manager Dave Roberts said. FERGUSON’S ”GOOD TREND” Ferguson struck out six, walked one and allowed three hits. The 21-year-old worked out of trouble in the fifth and seventh innings. The latter jam emerged when Cody Bellinger badly misplayed Nimmo’s low liner to center, leading to a one-out triple. Ferguson then struck out Frazier and got Asdrubal Cabrera to ground out. Ferguson dropped his ERA from 7.59 to 5.52 in his first career relief appearance – he’d previously made three starts. Roberts said Ferguson has shown a ”good trend” of looking more comfortable with each outing. ”He’s handling himself considerably better each time out there,” Roberts said. JOEY BATS Bautista hit a solo homer off Yimi Garcia in the eighth inning Rasmus Ristolainen Jersey , his fourth this season. TRAINER’S ROOM Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler (4-1, 2.63) is still dealing with soreness from a right rib microfracture. Buehler nixed a scheduled bullpen session Saturday, and Roberts said he may throw it Sunday if there’s improvement. … LHP Adam Liberatore was optioned to Triple-A to make space for Kershaw. UP NEXT LHP Rich Hill (1-2, 4.99) starts the series finale for the Dodgers. Jason Vargas was supposed to start for New York, but the Mets placed him on the DL with a strained calf late Saturday night. The team expected to name a replacement starter early Sunday. — Follow Jake Seiner at Brandon Morrow got the call Saturday night. It was a call nine days in the making. The Chicago Cubs‘ closer had not pitched since June 7, due to his team either winning games in lopsided fashion or losing them. It was only natural that he started out a bit rusty against the Cardinals, allowing singles to Jairo Munoz and Kolten Wong to begin the bottom of the ninth. But Morrow clicked into rhythm after that. Following an infield out, Morrow threw 99 mph fastballs by Matt Carpenter and Tommy Pham to end Chicago’s 6-3 win over St. Louis and give him his 16th save in 17 chances. Despite a 25-pitch inning in his return, Morrow should be available if needed for Sunday night’s series finale at Busch Stadium, where the Cubs will try to score a sweep and win for the 15th time in 20 games. “I’d like to keep him sharp Adolphus Washington Jersey ,” Chicago manager Joe Maddon said, “but guys like that can normally throw on the side and stay sharp.” Morrow has been everything the Cubs could have asked for in his first year with the team. Tasked with replacing Wade Davis as the ninth inning man, Morrow has pitched to a 1.59 earned run average, allowing just over one baserunner per inning and whiffing 25 hitters over 22 2/3 innings. His ninth inning helped spotlight one of the biggest differences between Chicago and St. Louis. While the Cubs have a reliable back end of the bullpen, the Cardinals do not. They have basically two reliable relievers, and Jordan Hicks proved mortal in the eighth inning Saturday night when he ceded his first runs of June on Jason Heyward’s two-run homer. That’s put the pressure on St. Louis starters, who for the most part have handled it. The burden now falls on rookie Jack Flaherty (3-2, 2.96) to match his outing from a 5-2 win Monday night over San Diego and keep the Cardinals (36-32) from a fifth straight defeat. Flaherty gave up just three hits and a run in 6 1/3 innings against the Padres, walking one and striking out six to claim his first win since May 20. This will be his first career start against Chicago, although he did pitch a scoreless inning of relief against the Cubs last year. “We were just throwing with more conviction tonight Doug Flutie Jersey ,” Flaherty told mlb.com. “Last time out, I said I really didn’t execute well. I feel like it had a lot to do with execution and conviction behind everything, just throwing everything with intent.” The Cubs (40-27) will counter with lefthander Jose Quintana (6-4, 4.09), whose up-and-down season is trending more in a positive direction of late. Quintana is coming off a no-decision Monday night in Milwaukee, where he allowed two runs on four hits in six innings as Chicago won 7-2 in 11 innings. Quintana has permitted only four runs in his last three starts, covering 17 2/3 innings. He’s 3-1 in five career starts against the Cardinals with a 2.67 ERA, beating them twice last year after his mid-July acquisition from the Chicago White Sox.