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The Grand Slam: Clayton Kershaw is great again as Dodgers sweep Braves

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

On a day that the Los Angeles Dodgers watched the MLB trade deadline pass without a single move, they reminded us of one simple but important fact — they have Clayton Kershaw. And Kershaw, as he's continuing to prove this season, is the best pitcher in the game.

Kershaw was great again Thursday, pitching the Dodgers past the Atlanta Braves 2-1 and helping L.A. complete a three-game sweep of the Braves. Kershaw pitched a complete game and struck out nine. He could have had another shutout if not for a Braves run that crossed the plate with two outs in the ninth. It was the Dodgers' sixth win a row. They now have a 3 1/2 game lead in the NL West standings.

Kershaw improved to 13-2 with a 1.71 ERA. He's been operating at an MVP level the past two months since he returned from injury. Just look at the numbers:

Yikes. Every other team in baseball should be thankful he only plays every fifth day.

The Los Angeles Angels started strong, hit a speed bump, held on and outlasted the Baltimore Orioles to capture a 1-0 win Thursday night in 13 innings. Tyler Skaggs started for the Angels and took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, but left the game because of forearm tightness.

His bullpen couldn't keep the no-hitter going, but seven Angels pitchers did combine to limit the Orioles to five hits and not a single run. The Angels got their run in the 13th, when Albert Pujols singled home Kole Calhoun.

Nolan Reimold made his fifth start in the Toronto Blue Jays outfield, after being claimed off waivers in early July. He certainly delivered when he got the chance. Reimold, a former Oriole, hit two homers on Thursday, including a go-ahead blast in the ninth inning that delivered a 6-5 win over the Houston Astros.

''It's been two years since I could say that I feel like I am good enough to play again,'' Reimold said. ''It's been a long process, so hopefully, all the work I did to come back pays off.''

Reimold has been limited by a variety injuries the past three seasons, playing in just 56 games for the Orioles in 2012 and 2013. That's part of the reason they waived him when he was ready to come off the disabled list this month and mike his 2014 debut.

The Kansas City Royals didn't make a move on trade-deadline day, and still managed to lose a player. The Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 6-3 on the field, but in the process they lost first baseman Eric Hosmer to a fractured hand.

''Very frustrating, bad timing,'' Hosmer said. ''The good thing is I can still get back for that last month and make that last push. They said as quick as three weeks and long as six. Obviously, I'm going to be shooting for the three to four weeks.''

It's believed that Hosmer has been dealing with the injury for a couple weeks, but it's gotten worse to the point where he had to leave the game Thursday. 

For the rest of Thursday's results, check out our scoreboard.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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