Kerhaw pitched a two-hitter to win his ninth straight decision, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 5-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night.
"You end up counting on him to go at least six," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "If you don't get to him early, he winds up with a low pitch count. That's when you start to get spoiled."
Adrian Gonzalez had three hits and an RBI and Juan Uribe had two hits and two RBIs to help the Dodgers move into first place in the NL West, a half-game ahead of the Giants, who were shut out for the 11th time.
"You don't take for granted being in first place," Kershaw said. "We know those guys will be right there with us to the end. We know we have to win a few more games to stay in first."
Kershaw (12-2) walked one and struck out seven in his ninth career shutout and second this season. It was also his fourth complete game of the year and 15th of his career. The left-hander improved to 12-6 with a 1.40 ERA in 23 career games against the Giants, including 7-2 with a 0.69 ERA at AT&T Park.
"It's fun to win," Kerhsaw said. "I'm happy now, but if I lose the next time out I won't be happy. We kept scoring runs, and it seems like if I can keep throwing zeros the first three innings, we have a good chance. It's been holding true."
Kershaw has made 15 consecutive quality starts against the Giants, the most by a pitcher since Bob Gibson had 16 straight between 1968 and 1972.
Ryan Vogelsong (5-8) retired the first 11 batters before Hunter Pence lost Gonzalez's double in the sun with two outs in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez followed with an RBI single.
"Vogey has had some tough luck, whether it's the run support or things going awry," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "The sun played a part in it tonight and it cost us a run."
The Giants have been shut out in four of Vogelsong's last five starts and the right-hander has received an average of two runs per game of support at home, the second lowest in the NL. Vogelsong lost his fifth straight decision, matching his longest such streak since 2011.
"I stopped making good pitches is what happened," Vogelsong said. "I can't put a finger on it other than I missed some spots and they got some hits."
Joaquin Arias was the lone Giants hitter to reach as far as second base against Kershaw and he reached on a fielding error. Michael Morse singled with two outs in the seventh.
"He was unbelievable," Uribe said. "It seems like he can do that every time."
Uribe, who has 17 RBIs against his former team since leaving after the 2010 season, drove in runs in the fifth and sixth. Yasiel Puig scored on Dan Uggla's throwing error in the sixth.
Gonzalez singled home a run in the seventh.
Giants C Hector Sanchez was placed on the 7-day DL with a mild concussion. C Andrew Susac was recalled from Triple-A Fresno and made his major league debut as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning. ... RHP Jake Peavy, who arrived at the park during the sixth after being acquired from Boston, makes his NL season debut in Sunday's series finale. He's 8-5 in San Francisco and 14-2 overall against the Dodgers. ... The Dodgers have won Kershaw's past 10 starts. ... Dodgers OF Matt Kemp singled in the fifth and now has 136 hits against the Giants, second among active players. Gonzalez has 132. . LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (11-5, 3.39) makes Sunday's start for the Dodgers. He's 7-2 in 10 road starts. . L.A. manager Don Mattingly said before the game that he "feels a difference in the stands" in the rivalry. "It's not just any other game anymore," he said.
Kershaw Shuts Out Giants
Baseball Tonight Spotilght: Clayton Kershaw pitched a complete game shutout and gave up two hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in the Dodgers' 5-0 win over the Giants.