Former Substitute Teacher Bests Kershaw, Marlins Top Dodgers
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Trevor Richards has worked as a substitute teacher and in a brewery, just trying to make ends meet while he chased a major league career.
He outworked three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday night, and it seems his days of offseason odd jobs to help pay rent might be behind him.
Richards outpitched Clayton Kershaw just months removed from working as a substitute elementary school teacher, and the Marlins took advantage of a wild outing from the Dodgers' ace to beat Los Angeles 8-6 on Wednesday night.
Richards struck out 10 and pitched one-hit ball over 4 2/3 scoreless innings in his fifth major league start. The former independent league right-hander was pulled after throwing 100 pitches.
"We couldn't figure him out," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
"I just focused on keeping the ball down and attacking the zone early, throwing strikes and looking ahead," Richards said. "We were just, fastball-changeups a lot. Trying to keep them off balance."
Richards' offseason jobs have included teaching and working for the Miller-Coors brewery since going undrafted out of Drury University. He joined a Marlins' Class A affiliate in 2016 after being noticed while pitching for Gateway of the independent Frontier League for two seasons. He spent this winter working at a school in his hometown of Aviston, Illinois, according to the Miami Herald.
"Trevor was really good today" Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "It's really what we needed."
J.T. Realmuto homered twice and Miguel Rojas went deep to help Miami capitalize on an unusually wild night by Kershaw (1-4).
The left-hander tied a career high with six walks, a mark he hadn't reached since 2010, and left after allowing three runs in five innings. Kershaw had only allowed three walks all season.
Kershaw struggled with his control but was able to strand eight runners over the first four innings without yielding a run. His luck ran out in the fifth after he issued a pair of two-out walks. Rojas followed by drilling a three-run homer off the left field foul pole, giving the Marlins a 3-0 lead.
"I felt good in the first inning but after that I didn't feel so great," Kershaw said. "I almost skated out of it but my command was an issue. I really don't know why."
Realmuto hit a solo shot in the sixth to make it 4-0 and added a two-run blast — his fourth of the season — in the eighth. Realmuto has hit safely in all 19 career games against the Dodgers, the longest hitting streak versus the Dodgers to begin a career since 1900.
"I feel good at the plate," Realmuto said. "My swing feels really good and the timing as well. I'm getting good pitches to hit."
Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager was checked on by trainers after slipping while chasing a pop fly. He remained in the game, and Roberts said he expects Seager to be OK.
Relievers Merandy Gonzalez, Junichi Tazawa and Brad Ziegler were hit around a bit late but held on for Miami. Gonzalez (1-0) earned his first career win.
After losing five in a row, Miami has won two straight and clinched its first series victory of the season.
Matt Kemp hit a two-run homer for the Dodgers in the eighth, and Yasmani Grandal added a two-run homer in the ninth, but the Marlins held on to win. Chris Taylor went 0 for 5 and had his seven-game hitting streak snapped.
"Give the Marlins credit, they out hit us, out pitched us and won the series," Roberts said.
Miami: RHP Dan Straily (right forearm strain) and LHP Wei-Yin Chen (left elbow strain) both pitched this week and will continue their minor league rehab assignments.
Los Angeles: Injured 3B Justin Turner (left wrist fracture) started taking 'dry' swings. No firm date has been set for is return.
The Dodgers acquired minor league left-hander Logan Salow from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for righty Wilmer Font.
Miami: After an off day Thursday, the Marlins open a six-game homestand starting with the Colorado Rockies on Friday. RHP Jose Urena (0-3, 5.88) will take the hill for the Marlins.
Los Angeles: The Dodgers are off Thursday and will begin a season-long 11-game, 10-day road trip starting Friday at San Francisco. Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-0, 1.99) will take the mound to open the four-game series.