Clayton Kershaw throws first no-hitter; misses perfect game by an error

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It was baseball’s best pitcher at his absolute best Wednesday night, as Clayton Kershaw struck out a career-high 15 in a no-hitter against the Rockies.

The only Colorado hitter to reach base in the game was Corey Dickerson on a soft grounder to shortstop in the seventh. Hanley Ramirez, who was iffy to start tonight because of an injured finger on his throwing hand, charged it well, but then threw wide of first base for the error. Ramirez ended up coming out of the 8-0 game for defense after the inning.

Kershaw entered the ninth at 101 pitches, but he got an easy grounder from D.J. LaMahieu on his first pitch of the frame and a popup from Charlie Culberson on the second. He then struck out Dickerson on four pitches to end it.

Kershaw joined teammate Josh Beckett as the only pitchers to throw no-hitters so far this year. Beckett got his May 25 against the Phillies. They became the first set of teammates to throw no-hitters in the same season since Burt Hooton and Milt Pappas did so for the Cubs in 1972.

Kershaw topped his previous high of 13 strikeouts established April 15, 2009 against the Giants. It was his eighth career shutout and first in 10 starts this season.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.