Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw has landed on the injured list, one day after he left his start at San Francisco with lower-back pain. 

Kershaw, who missed a month earlier this season with inflammation in a pelvic joint, has spent time on the injured list for back-related issues in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020.  

He walked off the mound after throwing a few warmup pitches before the bottom of the fifth inning in Thursday’s 5-3 win over the Giants.  

"I just felt something kind of lock up there in the fifth and couldn’t really throw after that. Something in my back again," Kershaw said. "Just more back stuff." 

The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner and nine-time All-Star is 7-3 with a 2.64 ERA in 15 starts with 88 strikeouts in 85 1/3 innings this season.  

Trayce Thompson drove in two runs and helped break the game open for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who claimed a four-game series sweep with a 7-4 win against the rival San Francisco Giants on Sunday.

Scores were tied at 4-4 following Darin Ruf's two-run homer off Clayton Kershaw in the fifth inning, as the Giants looked to deny their first sweep at Dodger Stadium since 1995.

Kershaw was ultimately pulled in the fifth, giving up five hits and striking out six over 94 pitches, before Craig Kimbrel eventually came in for his 17th save and the Dodgers' eighth consecutive win.

Jake Lamb's double drove in the go-ahead run the game up for grabs in the seventh inning, before Thompson's drive deep to right-centre scored Max Muncy with his brother and Golden State Warriors star Klay in attendance.

The Dodgers maintained their six-game lead over the New York Mets atop the National League standings, extending their record to 64-30 with the victory.

Judge goes deep again in Yankees win

Aaron Judge hit his fourth home run from his past four games as he continues his outlier season, extending his league-leading home run tally to 37 in the New York Yankees' 6-0 away win against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

After starting the series against the Orioles with two home runs, and following it with four hits and two RBIs yesterday, Judge stayed hot as he connected on a 456-foot blast in the third inning. He now leads the MLB for home runs with 37, seven more than the next best in Kyle Schwarber.

On the mound, Nestor Cortes was at his best for the Yankees, giving up six hits and no walks in six scoreless innings, striking out seven. Clarke Schmidt then came in for the unconventional three-inning save.

Alcantara strikes out 10 for Marlins

Arguably the best pitcher in all of baseball this year, Sandy Alcantara struck out 10 batters as his Miami Marlins defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 in extra innings.

In his six innings of work, Alcantara gave up two earned runs from just two hits and three walks, earning his 15th quality start of the season, one off the MLB lead held by Houston's Framber Valdez and Toronto's Alek Manoah.

According to Baseball Reference's Wins Above Replacement (WAR), Alcantara has been the most valuable player in all of baseball this season, and he is the only pitcher in the top-five.

Despite the American League's (AL) 3-2 win in the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday, Clayton Kershaw relished pitching the opening inning, conceding it "meant a lot" to him.

After nine All-Star selections and six appearances, the three-time National League (NL) Cy Young Award winner visibly savoured the moment as he approached the mound.

After the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series in 2020, Kershaw had effectively achieved everything could as a pitcher in baseball today, but had never started in an All-Star Game.

Achieving it in front of his home fans at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, the usually measured 34-year-old could not hide his excitement. 

"It was actually a lot of fun today to be out there, and the crowd was awesome," Kershaw said after his opening inning. "I can’t say enough good things about Dodger fans, people in LA in general, just how much these last few days, how much they wanted me to do this. It meant a lot to me.

"I tried to take a minute at the beginning to take it all in and look around, which I usually never do. Being here at Dodger Stadium, a place where I’ve been now for 15 years, and to get to do something like this with the best in the world, is really fun.

"And it was also really personal for me and my family, everybody. I’m excited it’s over."

Leading off for the AL, Shohei Ohtani was able to claim a single off Kershaw's first pitch, but the Dodgers' starter caught him trying to steal second, before striking out Aaron Judge.

Paul Goldschmidt gave the NL a 2-0 lead in the opening frame after Mookie Betts drove Ronald Acuna Jr. in, crushing a solo home run up the middle off Shane McClanahan.

The AL team were able to claim the lead with a three-run fourth via Giancarlo Stanton's two-run shot, before Byron Buxton followed up with a solo homer of his own.

Coming in to pinch hit in what could be his final at-bat in an All-Star game, Albert Pujols sent a ball deep into left-field off Paul Blackburn in the bottom of the fourth, but Andrew Benintendi eventually made the catch with the crowd at Dodgers Stadium seemingly willing his hit over the wall.

The AL bullpen started to take over proceedings after Alek Manoah came onto the mound, keeping the NL without a hit between the second and fifth innings.

Emmanuel Clase spectacularly closed for the AL's ninth consecutive win in what was a dominant pitching display.

Aaron Judge hit a game-winning single to cap a four-run ninth inning for the New York Yankees in their 7-6 win over the Houston Astros on Thursday.

Aaron Hicks started the late rally for the Pinstripes, tying the game with a three-run home run off Astros closer Ryan Pressly.

Alex Bregman and Giancarlo Stanton traded three-run homers in the first inning, while Yordan Alvarez also added a three-run shot in the third off Jameson Taillon to put the Astros ahead.

The Yankees took the opener of a highly anticipated four-game series between the American League's two best records with the win, as the Astros kick off a six-game stand in New York, taking both games from the Mets earlier this week in Houston.

The American League leaders moved to 52-18 for the season and claimed their 19th win in the past 22 games, heading into Judge's in-season salary arbitration on Friday.

Swanson seals win for Braves

Dansby Swanson hit two home runs for the Atlanta Braves, who were able to hold out against the San Francisco Giants in a 7-6 victory.

Swanson had three hits and three RBIs as the Braves built a 7-1 lead coming into the fifth inning. Six Giants players scored multiple hits, with Austin Slater's home run starting the rally in the fifth.

They were not able to capitalise on the higher hit count however, as the Braves moved 11 games over .500 with their 18th win in the past month.

Freeman fires Dodgers to victory

Freddie Freeman's form continued in the absence of Mookie Betts, leading the way for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their 10-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Freeman claimed a home run and three RBIs, moving his OBP for the season to a team-leading .386, while Max Muncy and Trea Turner each tallied three hits.

Clayton Kershaw allowed just one run and seven hits in six innings for the National League West leaders, striking out seven in 80 pitches and lowering his ERA for the season to 2.00.

Clayton Kershaw gave up a go-ahead home run to Thairo Estrada upon his return from injury, as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 on Saturday.

Kershaw has been sidelined since May due to an inflamed joint in his back, but his return has also coincided with Walker Buehler being placed on the Dodgers' injured list.

The three-time National League Cy Young Award winner pitched four innings, giving up three hits over 71 pitches, including the two runs that set up the Giants' win in the second inning.

The Dodgers claimed 13 hits in comparison to the five from their NL West rivals, but simply were not able to capitalise at the plate with runners in scoring position.

The Dodgers have now lost eight of their past 12 games, with the San Diego Padres now drawing level atop the NL West.

Judge rules for Yankees

Aaron Judge led the way for the New York Yankees, scoring two home runs in their 8-0 win over the Chicago Cubs.

It was a day to forget for rookie Cubs pitcher Matt Swarmer, who gave up six solo home runs out of a total seven hits over 90 pitches in five innings.

Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Jose Trevino and former Cub Anthony Rizzo went deep along with Judge as the Pinstripes claimed their 10th win in 11 games, moving to 43-16 for the year.

Trout leads Angels upon return from injury

Mike Trout returned for the Los Angeles Angels as they claimed a morale-boosting 11-6 win over the NL East-leading New York Mets.

The three-time American League MVP returned from a minor groin injury and led the way for the Halos in the win, scoring two home runs and claiming three hits from four at-bats.

Shohei Ohtani also went deep while going three-of-four, claiming their second win in three after snapping a 14-game losing streak on Thursday.

Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to come off the injured list on Sunday to start the Los Angeles Dodgers’ series finale against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced the news on Wednesday before their game against the Chicago White Sox.

This will be Kershaw’s first start for Los Angeles since May 7, after he landed on the IL due to right SI joint inflammation.

The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner was off to a sensational start to the season before getting hurt, going 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA over his first five outings. The 34-year-old veteran left-hander had 32 strikeouts to just three walks over 30 innings of work.

He was just as impressive in his lone minor league rehab start this past Sunday, yielding one run while striking out seven and walking one in four innings for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. He threw 44 of 59 pitches for strikes.

The Dodgers enter play Wednesday atop the NL West with a 35-20 record, one-and-a-half games ahead of the San Diego Padres and five-and-a-half games in front of the third-place Giants.

Clayton Kershaw and Mookie Betts starred for the Los Angeles Dodgers swept a double-header on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs.

Kershaw dominated the opener, giving up only five hits and striking out two over 81 pitches in seven innings, as the Dodgers won 7-0.

Betts shone in the night game, smashing a three-run double in the second inning and a two-run homer in the ninth to secure a 6-2 win.

Tyler Anderson struck out seven and gave up four hits over 80 pitches in five innings as the Dodgers claimed a fifth straight win.

They moved to 18-7 for the season and lead a strong National League West division, with every team holding a record at .500 or over.

Flores leads Giants to win over Cards

Wilmer Flores hit a grand slam in the first inning and finished with a career-high six RBIs as the San Francisco Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals 13-7.

Logan Webb struck out seven but gave up eight hits and four runs over 84 pitches in five innings, while Mauricio Dubon and Darin Ruf also hit home runs for the Giants.

Yadier Molina reached 1000 career RBIs and Dylan Carlson added a three-run homer, but it was not enough as the Cards had their three-game winning streak ended.

Polanco propels Twins to victory

Jorge Polanco led the Minnesota Twins as they sent the Oakland Athletics to their eighth consecutive defeat, claiming a 1-0 win.

Polanco had three of the Twins' five hits on the night from four at-bats, including a monster home run in the sixth inning, his third for the year.

Minnesota pitchers combined to strike out 15 while allowing three hits, as they maintained their lead atop the American League Central.

Clayton Kershaw was moved and a little surprised by the reception he was granted after breaking the Los Angeles Dodgers' long-standing strikeout record.

Kershaw, who has spent his entire MLB career with the Dodgers, recorded his 2,697th regular season strikeout in the fourth inning of Saturday's 5-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers, later adding three more to finish the game with 2,700.

Hall of Famer Don Sutton had held the record with 2,696 strikeouts, which no other Dodgers pitcher had come close to matching since his 1988 retirement until now.

Kershaw and Sutton are two of only four pitchers with over 2,000 strikeouts for the Dodgers, along with Don Drysdale (2,486) and Sandy Koufax (2,396), who were team-mates in the 1950s and 1960s.

Kershaw's achievement was greeted with a standing ovation and the game was paused as he raised his cap to the LA crowd.

"It's special," Kershaw said afterwards. "I didn't expect it.

"I understand that the Dodgers are a historic franchise and have been around a long time, so the guys that are on that list that I was fortunate enough to pass was a big deal.

"But I didn't know that fans would know or honestly care that much. It was special for me. It really was. It was cool to see.

"I tried to brush it off and keep going, but they wouldn't let me. It definitely meant a lot."

Only 25 pitchers have now recorded more strikeouts than Kershaw in the major leagues, including Sutton (3,574), who ranks seventh all-time having also turned out for the Houston Astros, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Oakland Athletics and the then California Angels.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the only team remaining in the MLB without five losses, with Sunday's 10-2 win against the San Diego Padres moving their record to 11-4.

It was another near-spotless start for Dodgers ace and future Hall-of-Famer Clayton Kershaw, conceding just one run and four base runners in five complete innings.

Padres starter Sean Manaea is a Cy Young award contender in his own right, but he did not have his best outing against a formidable Dodgers line-up, conceding six earned runs in just over four innings.

The runs were started with a Justin Turner sacrifice-fly to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the opening inning, before Freddie Freeman smashed a 425-foot home run to score two more runs in the third frame.

Los Angeles' Cody Bellinger hit a solo home run of his own the next inning, and then went again with a three-run bomb in the fifth to increase the margin to 8-1.

Buxton blasts in extra innings

Minnesota Twins center-fielder Byron Buxton hit the longest walk-off home run in the MLB Statcast era to defeat the Chicago White Sox 6-4 in extra innings.

Buxton was the hero on two occasions on Sunday, tying the game at 3-3 in the seventh inning with a 366-foot home run that barely made it over the wall, before leaving no doubt in the last at-bat of the game.

After the White Sox went up 4-3 in the top of the 10th inning, Buxton stepped to the plate trailing by one, with two runners on base. His 469-foot, three-run blast is the longest game-winner since at least 2015 when Statcast began tracking.

Cole and Rizzo lead Yankees to Guardians sweep

Gerrit Cole bounced back from his poor start against the Detroit Tigers as the New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Guardians 10-2, claiming a sweep of their three-game series.

Not even lasting two innings against the Tigers - the shortest start of his career - Cole pitched into the seventh against the Guardians, striking out nine and allowing only four hits over 92 pitches.

Anthony Rizzo's two-run home run in the first inning tied him for the American League lead with five. It was the Yankees' fifth win in the past six, heading into a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles, who sit bottom in the AL East.

Early National League Rookie of the Year favourite Seiya Suzuki continued the remarkable start to his MLB career on Monday with another two hits in the Chicago Cubs' 4-2 win against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Suzuki, 27, was named National League Player of the Week in his first full week in the majors, and with his first of two hits on Monday, he tied Akinori Iwamura for the longest hitting streak by a Japanese player to start their career at nine games.

He is also the first Cub to hit safely in the first nine games of their career (with an official at-bat) since 1943. He sits fifth in the majors in batting average (.429) and is tied for fourth in home runs (four).

Of the Cubs' four runs, Suzuki scored two, as he was driven in by a Patrick Wisdom two-run homer in the second inning, before getting hit by a pitch in the seventh inning, eventually coming around to score again off an Ian Happ hit.

With the Cubs up 3-2 in the eighth inning, Frank Schwindel gave Chicago a little breathing room with a solo home run for the last score of the game.

Despite the loss, it was a terrific performance on the mound for Rays Cy Young candidate Shane McClanahan, striking out nine batters in six innings, allowing only four hits and no walks for one earned run.

Yelich grand slams for Brewers

Leading 2-1 in the fourth inning, Christian Yelich stepped up to the plate with bases loaded and slogged a massive 429-foot grand slam to give the Milwaukee Brewers their 6-1 final score against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Brewers starting pitcher Eric Lauer was excellent, striking out five batters in six innings, conceding only one run and six baserunners in the process.

Freeman goes deep against old friends

After spending the first 12 years of his MLB career with the Atlanta Braves, Freddie Freeman hit a home run against them in the first inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers' 7-4 home win against his visiting former team.

From just the second pitch he faced against his old side, Freeman hammered it for a 386-foot home run to center field for the early lead.

The Braves rallied in the sixth frame to get Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw out of the game with seven strikeouts and four earned runs through five complete innings, but it was not enough to deny the Dodgers their seventh consecutive win to move to the best record in the majors at 8-2.

Clayton Kershaw agreed with Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts' decision to pull the plug on his potential perfect game after seven innings.

There have only been 23 perfect games thrown in MLB history, and through seven innings in the Dodgers' 7-0 win against the Minnesota Twins, Kershaw had faced 21 batters and retired them all.

But he would be denied his chance at history when he did not return to the mound for the eighth inning, getting pulled to allow the bullpen to finish off the win.

Kershaw, 34, said there were a number of factors to blame for his withdrawal from the game, but not his manager's decision-making.

"Blame it on the lockout, blame it on me not picking up a baseball until January," he said. "My slider was horrible the last two innings. It didn’t have the bite – it was time.

"At the end of the day, those are individual things, those are selfish goals. We’re trying to win. That’s really all we’re here for. 

"As much as I would have wanted to do it, I’ve thrown 75 pitches in a [simulated] game. I hadn’t gone six innings, let alone seven. 

"Sure, I would have loved to do it, but maybe we get another chance. Who knows?"

Kershaw became only the second player to ever get pulled that late into a perfect game – with Roberts pulling the plug on the first instance too, with Rich Hill in 2016.

Speaking about his decision after the game, Roberts said it was a decision no manager likes to make, but he feels it was the correct call.

"I love the idea that we’re preventing runs in that particular game," he said. "It’s not a great spot as far as the decision, ultimately, that I have to make.

"But I think if I can look back and I feel it’s the best decision – in the best interest of the player’s health and for the ball club – looking out, then I feel good about it. 

"But those guys make it tough on me – but we have good players.

"[Kershaw is] pretty honest and understanding of where he was at, how he was feeling, what’s at stake – the win, the no-hitter, the potential health risk, all that stuff matters.

"There’s no right, 100 per cent answer, but in this case I felt it was very clear to me the right decision was."

Three-time Cy Young award winner and former NL MVP Clayton Kershaw has reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers worth $17million.

First reported by The Athletic, the deal means the future Hall of Famer – who turns 34 later this month – will return to the Dodgers for the 15th consecutive season, keeping Kershaw as a one-club player as he enters the tail-end of his prime years.

The deal is still pending a physical, which may play a factor if the elbow injury that forced Kershaw to miss the end of the 2021 season – including the postseason – remains an issue.

However, no team will have a better idea about the health of Kershaw than the Dodgers, suggesting it is exceedingly unlikely that anything would show up on the physical with the potential to torpedo the deal.

It was not a rushed decision from the Los Angeles ball club, as they opted not to tender Kershaw's $18.4m qualifying offer following the World Series, allowing more time to gather information and come to a decision.

 

Clayton Kershaw will "always have a spot" on the Dodgers if he wants to remain in Los Angeles next season, says team president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. 

Drafted out of high school by the Dodgers in 2006, Kershaw has spent his entire career with the franchise but is a free agent this offseason after the team declined to issue him a qualifying offer for 2022. 

That decision was not a surprise, as forearm problems caused Kershaw to miss more than two months during the regular season and the entire postseason. 

But Friedman told reporters on Tuesday that move should not be seen as a sign that the door is closed. 

"We've been very outspoken that we really want Kersh to come back, not only what he's meant to us looking back, but also what we think he will mean for us looking forward," Friedman said at the MLB general managers' meetings in California, via ESPN. 

"That being said - just like every free agent, but Kersh even a little bit more so - he has earned the right to be in this position and figure out what's best for him and his family.

"So there's like a personal and a professional tug of war for me. Professionally I really hope he's back, personally I want them to do what makes the most sense for their family, and we'll figure out what that means."

Kershaw wrapped up a three-year, $93million contract this season, and the Dallas-area native's hometown Texas Rangers are expected to make a strong push to sign him. 

The 33-year-old went 10-8 with a 3.55 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 121.2 innings this season, the ERA representing the second-worst of his career ahead of only a 4.26 as a rookie in 2008. 

Kershaw has a 185-84 career record with 2,670 strikeouts and a 2.49 ERA, winning three Cy Young Awards and eight All-Star selections along the way in addition to the 2014 National League MVP award. 

 

The Los Angeles Dodgers declined to extend a qualifying offer to Clayton Kershaw as the veteran ace prepares to enter free agency amid uncertainty over his MLB future.

Kershaw, who did not pitch in the MLB playoffs as the Dodgers lost to the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series (NLCS) due to the recurrence of a forearm problem, has spent his entire 14-year career in Los Angeles.

The World Series champion and three-time Cy Young Award winner is a free agent following the conclusion of his three-year, $93million contract with the Dodgers.

While the Dodgers lodged offers to free agent All-Stars Corey Seager and Chris Taylor prior to Sunday's deadline – worth $18.4m for one year – there was none forthcoming for future Hall of Famer Kershaw.

However, the Dodgers are reportedly still keen on bringing Kershaw back to LA for at least one more season as both parties take time to determine the 33-year-old's health.

Kershaw – an eight-time All-Star and 2014 NL MVP – made his debut for the Dodgers in 2008.

In 2021, Kershaw finished with a 3.55 ERA, the worst of his illustrious career since his rookie year (4.26) with the Dodgers.

Kershaw had a 10-8 record this season with 144 strikeouts in 121.2 innings pitched.

Overall, Kershaw has a 185-84 win-loss record with 2,670 strikeouts and a career 2.49 ERA.

The Los Angeles Dodgers doubt Clayton Kershaw will pitch for the World Series champions in the MLB playoffs after the ace landed on the 10-day injured list.

Kershaw is back on the IL just days before the Dodgers begin their quest for back-to-back championships due to left forearm discomfort, the franchise announced on Saturday.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner had returned from a left forearm injury, which sidelined him for 57 games, however the star pitcher exited Friday's clash with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Kershaw – an eight-time All-Star and National League (NL) MVP who is in the final season of his three-year, $93million contract – lasted just 1.2 innings, giving up three runs with one strikeout against the Brewers.

As the Dodgers prepare for the offseason, manager Dave Roberts was asked if the 33-year-old future Hall of Famer will pitch again this year and he told reporters: "I don't think so.

"I think right now where we're at, we're going to proceed with that mindset. I'm certainly saddened, hoping we never had to get to this point.

"You know, you want to be certainly very thoughtful and sensitive to Clayton, but in the same breath, still kind of making sure we stay focused on moving forward. That's kind of where we're all at."

In 2021, Kershaw's ERA stands at 3.55 – his highest number since his rookie year (4.26) with the Dodgers in 2008.

Kershaw – a World Series champion – boasts a 10-8 record this season with 144 strikeouts in 121.2 innings pitched.

"My future's gonna take care of itself," Kershaw said after leaving Friday's contest. "I'm not really worried about that right now. I really wanted to be a part of the moment right now, and I wanted to be with this group going through October.

"That was my only focus this year. Once I got hurt, it was just to come back and make it up for this month. That's the hard part right now is knowing it's gonna be a challenge to even contribute at all this next month.

"But as far as anything else goes — I haven't wrapped my head around it, and I don't plan to any time soon. I'm just excited to watch these guys next month."

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