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.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.

Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.

President Obama pardons Willie McCovey

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 06:  San Francisco Giants legend Willie McCovey  waves to the crowd while seating between Jeff Kent (L) and Willie Mays during a ceremony honoring Buster Posey for winning the 2012 National League MVP before the Giants game against the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on April 6, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.

Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.

President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.