If not for one pitch, we'd be talking about Clayton Kershaw's 45-inning scoreless streak.
That one pitch, an 88 mph slider that Chase Headley sent over the fence in the sixth inning, was all the San Diego Padres could muster against the Los Angeles Dodgers ace Thursday night. He threw his 14th career complete game, striking out 11 and surrendering just three hits. The Dodgers beat the Padres 2-1.
Kershaw had pitched 36 consecutive scoreless innings coming into the game. He hadn't given up a run since June 13, before his no-hitter. The way Kershaw has been pitching lately, it wasn't out of the question that he could challenge Orel Hershiser's record of 59 straight scoreless innings from 1988. But it wasn't to be. Kershaw's streak was halted at 41 innings.
Since June 2nd, Clayton Kershaw is 8-0 with a 0.74 ERA, 80 strikeouts, and 6 walks. Aloe Blacc wrote a song about him. #TheMan— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 11, 2014
Battery mate A.J. Ellis said he and Kershaw were more worried about winning the game than the streak, because Headley's homer knotted things 1-1.
''I was barely thinking about the streak at all, and I know he wasn't,'' Ellis said. ''I mean, we weren't close to anything that was worth starting to get excited about. We were more disappointed that the game was tied. So we had to bear down, keep the game where it was and hope we could scratch out another run.''
The Dodgers came right back and scored in their half of the sixth inning, on an Adrian Gonzalez sac fly. With Kershaw on the mound — having not given up two runs in a game since June 2 — that extra run proved to be enough for the win.
TIGERS PUT UP 16 RUNS TO BEAT THE ROYALS
Dear Los Angeles Angels, those 14 runs you scored Thursday were nice, but the Detroit Tigers were determined to the MLB offensive juggernaut of the night. The Tigers routed the Kansas City Royals something serious — 16-4 was the final score, and it came two days after the Tigers scored 14 against the Dodgers.
The Tigers got an eight-run fifth inning, which accounted for half of those runs. Every Tiger who played had at least one hit. Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez and Torii Hunter had three RBIs each.
A'S WIN BATTLE OF THE BAY, TAKE THREE OF FOUR FROM GIANTS
The Oakland Athletics added to their MLB-best record and won this year's Battle of the Bay in the process. The A's took the third game of their four-game series with the San Francisco Giants and it wasn't particularly close. The A's won 6-1, beating up on their former ace Tim Hudson.
The A's got a two-run homer from Josh Donaldson (now of the Home Run Derby) and two more hits from the red-hot Stephen Vogt, while Scott Kazmir cruised on the mound. He pitched seven scoreless innings and only gave up three hits. Hudson, meanwhile, gave up six runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings, a huge amount of offense by his stingy standards. The A's (58-34) also maintained their 3 1/2 game lead over those surging Angels in the AL West.
INDIANS SCORE NINE LATE RUNS TO BEAT YANKEES
The New York Yankees added to their miserable day with a 9-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians, but it was an even tougher loss than the lopsided score suggests. The Yankees, who also found out ace Masahiro Tanaka has a partially torn UCL in his elbow, let in nine runs combined in the seventh and eighth innings. The Indians had been down 3-0 until that post-seventh-inning-stretch explosion.
If the Yankees players needed a stiff drink on the plane flight to Baltimore, The Stew wouldn't blame them.
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