Clayton Kershaw stepped atop a major league mound Tuesday night in Washington, D.C. for the first time since the Dodgers’ season-opening victory against the Diamondbacks on March 22 at the Sydney Cricket Ground in southeastern Australia.
The ace left-hander showed no rust following that nearly-seven-week absence — the result of a teres major muscle strain — throwing seven scoreless innings and striking out a total of nine Nationals hitters as Los Angeles rolled to an 8-3 victory.
MLB.com has the video wrapup from Nats Park …
Kershaw now has a 0.66 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings this season.
The 26-year-old signed a seven-year, $215 million contract extension in January.
No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.
Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.
Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.