Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw’s scoreless streak ends after 41 2/3 innings

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Clayton Kershaw’s scoreless streak, which dated back to a June 13 win over the Diamondbacks, was snapped after 41 2/3 innings when he gave up a homer to San Diego’s Chase Headley in the sixth inning Thursday.

Kershaw shook it off and ended up pitching a three-hitter for the victory in a 2-1 game. It was his eighth straight win.

The homer that snapped Kershaw’s streak came with two outs in the sixth, and Headley had fouled off three two-strike pitches to stay alive before depositing a fastball over the wall in left.

Kershaw’s scoreless streak, which technically will be recorded as 41 innings by MLB and Elias, was the longest since the Mets’ R.A. Dickey went 44 2/3 innings in a row in 2012 and the third longest since 1990 (Arizona’s Brandon Webb went 42 innings in a row in 2007). Of course, the Dodgers have the two longest streaks of all-time: Orel Hershiser’s 59-inning streak in 1988 and Don Drysdale’s 58-inning streak in 1968.

The homer was just the fifth allowed by Kershaw in 93 1/3 innings this season. His previous came June 8 against the Rockies at Coors Field.

Kershaw finished the game with 11 strikeouts and earned his 11th victory against two losses. He would lead the majors with a 1.78 ERA, but he’s still short of qualifying after missing all of April with back inflammation.

Dusty Baker on struggling Jonathan Papelbon: “He doesn’t look very good.”

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 24:  Jonathan Papelbon #58 of the Washington Nationals looks on after coming out in the ninth inning during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 24, 2016 in Washington, DC.  The Padres won 10-6.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
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The Nationals lost a heartbreaker on Tuesday night, as the Indians overcame a two-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Nationals 7-6. Closer Jonathan Papelbon faced five batters but was unable to record an out, yielding a leadoff walk, a double, a bunt that ended up very successful due to a Ryan Zimmerman throwing error, an intentional walk, and a single. Oliver Perez came in and eventually allowed one of his inherited runners to score, saddling Papelbon with the loss.

Papelbon also served up four runs in the outing before Tuesday’s, on Saturday against the Padres. The two clubs entered the top of the ninth tied 6-6, but a walk followed by three two-out singles and a bases-clearing double off of Papelbon allowed the Padres to take a 10-6 lead.

On the season, Papelbon is 19-for-22 in save chances with a 4.18 ERA and a 30/12 K/BB ratio in 32 1/3 innings. If the season were to end today, the right-hander’s 21.4 percent strikeout rate would be the lowest mark of his career and his 8.6 percent walk rate would be his highest mark since 2010.

Manager Dusty Baker didn’t indicate that he’s going to make a change at closer, but he sounded dissatisfied with Papelbon’s performance thus far. Via Mark Zuckerberg of MASN, Baker said, “He doesn’t have his command, which is evident when you walk the leadoff hitter. But it’s like, what do you say? How does he look? Right now he doesn’t look like Pap. He doesn’t look very good. Usually he doesn’t walk people like that.”

The non-waiver trade deadline is on Monday, August 1. The Nationals, at 58-42, still have a four-game lead over the Marlins and a 4.5-game lead over the Mets. Tuesday’s loss has motivated the club to attempt to upgrade the bullpen, Jon Morosi reports. The Nationals were in the mix for Aroldis Chapman before the Yankees sent him to the Cubs. Perhaps Andrew Miller could be next on the Nats’ wish list.

Blue Jays trade Drew Storen to the Mariners for Joaquin Benoit

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 29: Drew Storen #45 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch in the eleventh inning during MLB game action against the Boston Red Sox on May 29, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday night that the club traded reliever Drew Storen and some cash to the Mariners in exchange for reliever Joaquin Benoit.

Storen, 28, was designated for assignment by the Jays on Sunday after posting a 6.21 ERA with a 32/10 K/BB ratio in 33 1/3 innings. The Jays acquired him during the offseason from the Nationals in exchange for Ben Revere and a player to be named later.

Benoit, 38, struggled as well, putting up a 5.18 ERA with a 28/15 K/BB ratio in 24 1/3 innings with the Mariners.