LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw's final tune-up before a week-long South Beach vacation was Sunday's 13-strikeouts, complete-game win as the Dodgers rolled to a 5-2 victory and a sweep of the Royals.Kershaw is ineligible to pitch in Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard because he started on Sunday. He won't
LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw's final tune-up before a week-long South Beach vacation was Sunday's 13-strikeouts, complete-game win as the Dodgers rolled to a 5-2 victory and a sweep of the Royals.
Kershaw is ineligible to pitch in Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard because he started on Sunday. He won't pitch in the Miami series coming out of the break because the club wants to give him a breather.
Kershaw deserves one after his first complete game of the year, which he dedicated to one Dodger Stadium attendee familiar with complete games.
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"It's about time, been awhile," said Kershaw, who pitched nine innings on May 23 in a game that went extra innings. "It felt good to finish the game. Sandy [Koufax] was here today so I wanted to do it for him."
Here come the numbers: Kershaw is 14-2 with a 2.18 ERA. With the Royals first-pitch swinging, he needed only 99 pitches, becoming the first pitcher in MLB history with 13 strikeouts in a complete game with fewer than 100 pitches. He leads or is tied for the MLB lead in wins, starts and innings pitched. He has made 13 consecutive starts without a loss, during which he is 10-0 with a 1.98 ERA, for a franchise-tying third-best win streak of at least 10 games. This was his 25th career complete game and 59th game of 10 or more strikeouts, including seven this season. And it was his 21st game with at least 10 strikeouts and no walks.
"He was Claytonesque," said manager Dave Roberts, noting that Kershaw has "synched" up the loose ends in his last four starts (two earned runs in 29 innings).
Roberts said he welcomes the All-Star break, even with the Dodgers on a six-game winning streak.
"The All-Star break is coming at the perfect time," he said.
Kershaw wasn't as enthusiastic.
"Obviously, the way we're playing, it would feel good to keep going out there," he said. "At the same time, breaks are always needed to rejuvenate. I don't anticipate any rust on Friday."
• Shortstop Corey Seager and catcher Yasmani Grandal were not in the starting lineup on Sunday. Roberts said Seager was just getting rest before his All-Star Game appearance, while Grandal left Saturday's game in the seventh inning with a bruise on his left hand at the base of the index finger. X-rays taken after the game on Saturday were negative.
• After the game, Roberts announced that right-hander Brandon McCarthy, Alex Wood and Rich Hill would start the three games against the Marlins.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.