Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw tossed a three-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts to beat the New York Mets 5-0 in MLB on Thursday.
Kershaw needed just 109 pitches to cruise through the Mets' line-up as he gave up just one multi-base hit all game - a double to Curtis Granderson in the sixth inning.
The 13 strikeouts gave Kershaw his eighth career shutout with 10-plus strikeouts, which are twice as many as any other pitcher since he entered MLB in 2008.
Kershaw also became the first pitcher in Dodgers history to strike out at least 10 batters in five straight starts. During the last calendar year, Kershaw has 322 strikeouts in 250 innings pitched with only 35 walks.
The Boston Red Sox routed the Houston Astros 11-1, becoming the first team to score double digits in four consecutive games since they achieved the same feat in 2007. Boston have scored 11 or more runs in four successive outings for the first time since 1950.
The New York Yankees accounted for the World Series-champion Kansas City Royals 7-3, the Baltimore Orioles overcame the Detroit Tigers 7-5 and the San Francisco Giants defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2.
James Shields helped the San Diego Padres past the Milwaukee Brewers 3-0, the Philadelphia Phillies outlasted the Atlanta Braves 7-4 after a 10th inning, while the St Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Angels 12-10.
HERRERA AT IT AGAIN
Odubel Herrera has been a revelation for the Phillies' struggling franchise so far this season. On Thursday, the 24-year-old went four-for-four with a walk, two runs scored and a stolen base to help Philadelphia beat Atlanta. He is now batting .339 this year.
GREINKE CHANNELS HIS INNER BAUTISTA
Zack Greinke may be a pitcher, but he sure knows how to execute a proper bat flip.
KUECHEL'S WOES CONTINUE
After surrendering eight earned runs against the Boston Red Sox, reigning AL MVP Dallas Keuchel has now allowed five-plus earned runs in four of his last five starts. He had three such outings all of last season. The eight earned runs are the second most he has given up in his career. He allowed nine earned runs in a start against the Texas Rangers last year.
HAMMEL OUT TO MAINTAIN FORM
On Friday, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano (3-1, 3.60 ERA) will face off against the Chicago Cubs' Jason Hammel (4-0, 1.85 ERA), who, like last year, is off to a great start. Chicago will enter the series trying to rebound from two straight loses against the Padres.
Texas will send Martin Perez (1-2, 3.51 ERA) to the mound to help keep pace with the streaking Seattle Mariners.