Clayton Kershaw struck out 14 Nationals without issuing a walk

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In a second consecutive start, Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw struck out at least 13 batters and walked none. He ended the first half by striking out 13 Phillies while issuing no walks in a shutout, which was a few days ahead of his late-notice addition to the National League All-Star roster.

Kershaw opened up the second half by striking out 14 Nationals over eight shutout innings on Saturday. And again, he did not issue a walk. He’s the first to strike out 13 and walk none in consecutive starts since Dwight Gooden in 1984, and the two are the only ones to have accomplished the feat since 1914, per FOX Sports. As ESPN Stats & Info notes, Kershaw induced 30 swings and misses on Saturday against the Nationals, the most by any pitcher in the last seven seasons.

Kershaw now has a 2.68 ERA with a 174/27 K/BB ratio in 131 innings. Despite owning a 4.32 ERA in late May, the reigning NL MVP is firmly in the Cy Young conversation. If he were to win, it would be his third in as many seasons.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.