Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw throws no-hitter

first_imgKershaw ventured into legendary territory with a performance that will likely go down as one of the most iconic in Dodgers history.Kershaw’s first career no-hitter.Kershaw delivered a commanding no-no by retiring 27 of the 28 hitters he faced and finishing with 15 strikeouts in an 8-0 victory over the visiting Colorado Rockies to complete a three-game sweep in historical fashion.“We started scoring so many runs, I didn’t want to screw that up,” Kershaw said. “Just throw strikes. It was just so much fun. I can’t explain.“As far as individual games, this was pretty special.” The potential for history takes place every time Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw takes the mound.On Wednesday, that promise became a reality.The buzz steadily grew with each out recorded. Nine straight to start the game. Then 18 in a row.Not even a two-base throwing error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez to start the seventh inning could derail this magic. It was the 22nd no-hitter in Dodger history and comes on the heels of Josh Beckett’s no-hitter on May 25 at Philadelphia, becoming the first time the Dodgers had two no-hitters in same season since 1956. And he was miscue away from throwing the franchise’s second perfect game.“Beckett told me he was going to teach me how to do that,” Kershaw said, laughing.Kershaw got doused by two buckets of sports drinks by Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig. Then the team came out with their now famed bubble machine and did their new dance with Kershaw — much to the delight of the crowd.Then Kershaw shared a warm embrace with his wife Ellen, who he was tipping his hat to at the end of the game.The crowd of 46,069 came to its feet in raucous fashion to start the ninth inning.D.J. LeMathieu hit a grounder to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who flipped to Kershaw covering first.Charlie Culberson lifted a harmless fly ball to Yasiel Puig in right field for the second out.Then Kershaw needed just four pitches to strike out Corey Dickerson for the final out.Overall, Kershaw threw 107 pitches, 79 for strikes.Kershaw began sitting all alone in the dugout in the fifth inning.He began receiving standing ovations after he struck out the side in the sixth inning.The crowd rose to its feet with two outs in the seventh and erupted in a loud roar when Kershaw froze Wilin Rosario with a wicked curve to end the inning.Kershaw received another standing ovation when he came to bat in the eighth inning.Kershaw tied his career high in strikeouts when he fanned Drew Stubbs on three pitches to start the eighth for his 13th strikeout.Kershaw set his career high for strikeouts by fanning Josh Rutledge in the eighth inning, right after Rutledge lined a shot down the left-field line that was just foul.Kershaw won his fourth consecutive start and improved to 7-2 this season.Kershaw had a pair of previous two-hitters — on May 29, 2011 against the Florida Marlins and on June 20, 2011 against the Detroit Tigers.Kershaw needed just 42 pitches to get through the first nine batters. He struck out five in that span, including Corey Dickerson looking to start the game and freezing Wilin Rosario on a beautiful 73-mph curveball.The hardest ball hit through the first nine batters was actually by Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, who hit a liner that was snared by third baseman Miguel Rojas.Kershaw helped his own cause in the fourth inning by fielding Dickerson’s dribbler, whirling and firing to first to just beat Dickerson.Kershaw fielded a comebacker by Rutledge to end the fifth inning.Then Kershaw fanned the side in the sixth inning, overwhelming Kyle Parker, D.J. LeMathieu and pinch-hitter Ryan Wheeler (Torrance High) to give him 10 strikeouts after six innings.Kershaw shook off Ramirez’s throwing error thanks to a spectacular play by Miguel Rojas, who fielded a chopper by Troy Tulowitzki (Long Beach State) on the third-base line and made a long accurate throw that was hauled in by first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.“I’m in great company with this pitching staff,” Kershaw said.Maybe lost in the hoopla was the fact the Dodgers continued to make up ground on the San Francisco Giants, closing within four games of the NL West leaders after trailing by 9 1/2 games as recently as June 8.The Dodgers swept the three-game series with the Rockies and completed an impressive 5-1 homestand. The Dodgers have won eight of their past 11 overall. It’s the first time they have swept the Rockies since winning the final three games of the 2012 season.Dee Gordon got the Dodgers off and running in the first inning.Gordon drew a leadoff walk, then stole his major league-leading 37th base of the season.Gordon was also so much of a distraction on the basepaths that De La Rosa made an errant pickoff throw into center field, allowing Gordon to take third base and score on Puig’s towering sacrifice fly to center field for a 1-0 lead.Ramirez also drew a walk in the first inning and scored on Kemp’s rifle RBI single to center for a 2-0 lead.Then the Dodgers exploded for five runs in the third inning, all with two outs.Puig drew a two-out walk, and the fireworks began. Gonzalez and Kemp hit back-to-back RBI doubles, and Rojas blasted a three-run double over Dickerson’s head in left field for a 7-0 lead.It could have been a bigger inning, but Gordon’s infield single was overturned on a manager’s challenge and Rockies third baseman Rutledge made a diving stop to rob Ramirez.The Dodgers continued to pile on with Gonzalez dropping an RBI single to left field to score Ramirez in the fourth inning for an 8-0 lead.Kemp now has seven multi-hit performances in his past 12 games. He went 3 for 4 with two doubles, two RBIs and a run scored.Ramirez’s finger — bruised on a liner in Tuesday night’s game — did not seem to affect him much at the plate, getting a double, a sacrifice fly, a walk and a run scored. Carlos Triunful replaced Ramirez defensively in the eighth, but it might have been an inning too late.De La Rosa had a miserable game, lasting just 3 1/3 innings. He allowed eight runs (seven earned) with six hits, five walks and just one strikeout.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more