Los Angeles Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw had a stellar debut Wednesday, pitching a perfect seven innings in a 7-0 win over the Minnesota Twins.
Kershaw, who struck out 13 batters, was removed in the eighth inning. The left-hander became the second player in MLB history to throw at least seven perfect innings and be taken out of the game, according to ESPN Data.
The other was Rich Hill, who did it against the Seattle Marlins on September 10, 2016. Dave Roberts also managed that game and said after the game that Hill felt “sick to his stomach.”
Alex Vesia relieved Kershaw in the eighth and allowed Minnesota’s first and only hit, a single to Gary Sanchez.
Cody Bellinger, Gavin Lux and Austin Barnes hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth against reliever Dereck Rodriguez, who was making his Twins debut.
Fine as wine, that’s how Clayton Kershaw’s first start of the season is described. ⚾️🔥 pic.twitter.com/NBg1LQUhom
– The Mayores (@TheMayores) April 13, 2022
Justin Turner hit a two-run single in the first, Trea Turner had a sacrifice fly in the second and Max Muncy went deep in the ninth for the Dodgers.
The three-time National League Cy Young Award winner needed just 80 pitches. He struck out to the side in the sixth and struck out every Twins batter at least once except Gio Urshela, who grounded out to third and flied out to right in his first two at-bats.
Kershaw, who re-signed with the Dodgers for $17 million this year after missing more than two months in 2021, was fifth in the rotation from the start. Kershaw pitched a no-hitter on June 18, 2014 against Colorado.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.