Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw tosses no-hitter

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by Scott Boeck

USA TODAY Sports

Posted on June 19, 2014 at 10:15 AM

(USA Today) -- It was never a question of if Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw could throw a no-hitter. It was only a matter of when it would happen.

The day finally came for the two-time National Cy Young winner Wednesday night against one of the top hitting teams in the majors, the Colorado Rockies.

"This is pretty special," Kershaw said on SportsNet TV in Los Angeles. "I will remember this forever.

"As far as individual games go, this is really special. To do it at home is more amazing."

Kershaw retired the first 18 batters in a row until a two-base throwing error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez ended his bid for a perfect game. Ramirez, who was injured the night before, was replaced in the eighth inning by rookie Carlos Triunfel for defensive purposes.

Kershaw said Ramirez's error on Corey Dickerson's ground ball could have been called a hit, "under normal circumstances."

Kershaw, who is in the first year of a seven-year, $215 million contract, proved why he is the highest-paid pitcher.

He dominated and was in complete control the entire night, baffling Rockies batters. He utilized his masterful slider and curve ball to strike out a career-high 15 batters en route to an 8-0 win. With his wife Ellen in attendance, he had only one three-ball count. He faced 28 batters, just one over of the minimum, on 107 pitches and six in the ninth inning.

The only threat to Kershaw's no hitter came after Ramirez's throwing error. But third baseman Miguel Rojas backhanded Troy Tulowitzki's grounder behind the bag and made a strong throw to first base.

Kershaw's gem was one for the record books. His 15 strikeouts tied Warren Spahn (1960) for the most by a lefty in a no-hitter and is third-most in no-hitter since 1900. Only Nolan Ryan (17 K's in 1973, 16 K in 1991) had more.

The no hitter comes less than a month after teammate Josh Becket tossed an unlikely one against the Philadelpia Phillies on May 25.

"I am so amazed," Kershaw said. "Beckett told me he was going to teach me how to do that, so I have Josh to thank."

The only other time the Dodgers threw two no-hitters in one season was 1956, by Carl Erskine and Sal Maglie.

It was the 22nd no hitter in franchise history, 12th in the city of Los Angeles.

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