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The Grand Slam: Dodgers, Angels win behind dominant pitching performances

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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A night earlier, people were freaking out about pitchers in Los Angeles. Then Clayton Kershaw and Matt Shoemaker came along to console L.A. baseball fans with dominant outings.

We'll start with Kershaw. He and the Los Angeles Dodgers were a bit out of order. Zack Greinke got pushed back from his spot in the rotation. Kershaw got pushed up. There were fears about Greinke's elbow. So Kershaw started Thursday against the San Diego Padres.

It doesn't bring any certainty to Greinke's situation (he'll supposedly start Saturday), but Kershaw came out and dominated again. He notched his 15th win of the season, tying him for the most in baseball, while striking out 10 and giving up one run on three hits.

That was enough, thanks to Justin Turner's two-run homer in the eighth, for a 2-1 Dodgers win. Kershaw took a no-hitter into the sixth. It was opposing pitcher Tyson Ross who busted it up, actually. Kershaw's ERA dropped to 1.82, which isn't fair and even his manager knows it:

''I don't think I've ever seen anybody like this guy,'' Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. ''Tomorrow will be on to the next one and he'll be on a mission for that. A huge competitor.''

ANGELS GET GREAT OUTING FROM SHOEMAKER
After learning earlier in the day that they would be losing ace Garrett Richards for the season because of a knee injury, the Los Angeles Angels got a nice statement out of rookie Matt Shoemaker. He's ready to step up.

Shoemaker, the 27-year-old surprise, took a no-hitter into the seventh inning at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox. Will Middlebrooks broke it up, but that was the only hit the Red Sox would get. Shoemaker, who struck out nine, combined with two relievers for a 2-0 shutout of the Red Sox.

The Angels won their fourth straight, sweeping the Red Sox and arriving hot to a weekend series against the Oakland Athletics.

CUBS, GIANTS SPLIT THEIR QUASI-DOUBLEHEADER
Maybe now the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants can get back to normal life. They finished their controversial rain-delayed-then-protested game Thursday and played their regularly scheduled game too. But not without another rain delay.

No shenanigans this time, but the Cubs did hold on to win the protested game 2-1 after the rain cleared up. It was another story in the second game. Madison Bumgarner was stellar, striking out 12 in seven innings, en route to a 5-3 Giants win. Buster Posey went 4-for-4 for S.F.

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(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

REDS LOSE AGAIN, THEIR SIXTH STRAIGHT
The Cincinnati Reds are getting close to the end. The were clobbered Thursday by the Atlanta Braves, an 8-0 loss that ran the Reds' losing streak to six games. Julio Teheran pitched six strong innings for the Braves, quieting the Reds bats (what's left of them, anyway). 

Cincinnati is now six games under .500, 10 1/2 back in the NL Central and, most importantly, seven games back in the race for the second NL Wild Card. The postseason isn't impossible, but impossible is getting closer.

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 mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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