Clayton Kershaw halts Brewers’ six-game winning streak

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The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw blanked the Brewers for eight innings Thursday to earn his 15th win in what ended up being a 5-1 game.

The Brewers, who had won six straight and 19 of their last 21 games, managed just five hits off Kershaw before finally scoring a run in the ninth.

Having thrown 104 pitches in eight, Kershaw didn’t get a chance to go for his third shutout of the season. Javy Guerra came in and gave up a triple to Ryan Braun and a sac fly to Prince Fielder before finishing a 5-1 game.

Kershaw had just six strikeouts today, leaving him one short of 200 for the season. He’ll still be the first National Leaguer to reach that mark this year unless Cliff Lee can fan 16 batters next time out.

It was the eighth time this season that Kershaw has gone without allowing a run.  That’s tied for first in the majors with Lee.  Kershaw’s Dodger teammate, Hiroki Kuroda, has done it seven times.  A host of starters have done it six times apiece: Josh Beckett, Josh Collmenter, Tim Lincecum, Wandy Rodriguez, Tim Stauffer, Jason Vargas and Jered Weaver.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.