It was bombs away off Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday, as the Rockies hit three homers off the Cy Young Award winner on their way to an 8-5 win.
The red-hot Carlos Gonzalez hit the first and last of those homers, with Wilin Rosario supplying a shot in the middle.
Kershaw had allowed just the two solo homers through seven innings when the Dodgers scored twice in the top of the eighth to take a 3-2 lead. That lengthy inning featured two pitching changes, but the Dodgers sent Kershaw back to the mound anyway. Unfortunately, the half-hour break might have done him in. A single, a sacrifice and another single tied the game at 3 before Gonzalez lined one over the fence in right field to make it 5-3 Colorado.
The Dodgers came back from there, scoring two runs in the top of the ninth to let Kershaw off the hook. However, Jason Giambi, needing only a sac fly to end the game, hit a three-run homer off Scott Elbert in the bottom of the ninth.
Kershaw had never allowed three homers in a game before. He gave up two homers just twice on his way to winning Cy Young honors last season. One of those outings was likewise a loss to the Rockies.
Gonzalez has seven homers in nine games after going his first 12 games of the season without one. He joined Adam Dunn as the only players to hit two homers off Kershaw in one game.
Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.
Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.
Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.
Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.
It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.
While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.
The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”