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Dodgers beat Cubs, level series

Clayton Kershaw pitched seven scoreless innings to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs and tie the National League Championship Series at 1-1. (AP)

Clayton Kershaw pitched seven scoreless innings to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs and tie the National League Championship Series at 1-1. (AP)

Chicago  — Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw pitched seven sparkling innings to steer the Dodgers to a 1-0 road win against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, squaring the National League Championship Series at a game apiece.

Kershaw retired his first 14 batters, striking out six and walking only one in a performance that fully answered the charge that he does not produce his best in playoff games.

The sole run of the game came from an Adrian Gonzalez homer.

The Dodgers needed a clutch pitching performance after their heartbreaking 8-4 loss in the series opener, and their ace left-hander Kershaw stepped up.

The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner struck out six and walked one while throwing just 84 pitches in a brisk outing that could help when he returns later in the NLCS.