Clayton Kershaw took the mound Thursday with plenty of weight on his shoulders as the Los Angeles Dodgers began a four-game series with the San Diego Padres.
First, the Dodgers’ were coming off being swept at the hands of the Detroit Tigers, but the more talked-about matter was Kershaw’s scoreless innings streak.
The left-hander entered the game without allowing a run in his last 36 innings pitched, which was a career best and ranked third on the Dodgers’ all-time list.
Facing the worst offensive team in MLB, Kershaw was perfect through 2.1 innings before Alexi Amarista singled to left field. Amarista reached second base with two outs but was stranded as Kershaw continued to add to his scoreless streak.
The Dodger ace retired Amarista to end the fifth as his consecutive scoreless innings total reached 41. The sixth appeared to be another breeze for Kershaw, who struck out the first two batters he faced.
It came to a grinding halt however on Chase Headley’s solo home run that not only snapped the streak, but also tied the game.
Kershaw recovered and got Carlos Quentin swinging to strike out the side and pitched three more shutout innings after the Dodgers regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth.
Kershaw finished the game with 11 strikeouts and a new scoreless streak in hand.
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