Tigers righty Rick Porcello didn’t record a shutout over the first 163 starts of his major league career.
Now he has two shutouts in the past six days.
Porcello limited the American League West-leading Athletics to four hits and induced a whopping 17 groundouts in the Tigers’ 3-0 victory on Tuesday night in Detroit. Porcello failed to register a single strikeout but he also issued zero walks, throwing 68 of his 95 pitches for strikes. J.D. Martinez led the way offensively with a two-run homer.
Porcello is tied with Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka for the major league lead in wins with 11.
His streak of 25 1/3 scoreless innings is the longest for a Tigers pitcher since Jose Valverde in 2010 and he’s the first Tigers starter to throw back-to-back shutouts since Jack Morris rattled off three straight in 1986.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.