Clayton Kershaw started a Major League Baseball game on Friday for the first time in 40 days and didn’t miss beat.
His last start, July 23 against the Mets, ended after two innings as the three-time Cy Young winner left with back issues.
Kershaw was given the chance Friday to feast on some of his favorite prey – the Padres, against whom he has not allowed more than one earned run in six straight starts. That streak continued as Kershaw pitched six scoreless innings in San Diego, allowing a scant two hits and no walks and striking out seven.
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Kershaw’s return could not have come at a better time for the Dodgers, who had lost five straight games ahead of their weekend series at Petco Park. Kershaw outdueled Padres’ starter Dinelson Lamet, and Brandon Morrow pitched the seventh inning, Tony Watson the eighth and Kenley Jansen closed the deal in the ninth in L.A.’s 1-0 win.
Kershaw is 9-1 after a Dodgers loss this season.
Kershaw’s ERA dipped to 1.95 and per ESPN, with a 1.90 ERA over the past five seasons, he’s on pace to join Sandy Koufax as the only starters in the live ball era with a sub-2.00 ERA over five seasons.