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Kershaw cruises to another Dodgers no-hitter

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The Los Angeles Dodgers have gotten virtually everything from Clayton Kershaw. Aside from a pennant or World Series, the only things missing from Kershaw's resume were a no-hitter and perfect game. If not for one errant Hanley Ramirez throw on June 18, Kershaw would have had that perfect game, but he settled for getting the Dodgers' second no-hitter of the season in an 8-0 win over the Colorado Rockies.

Josh Beckett already threw the year's first no-hitter for Los Angeles at Philadelphia on May 25. Naturally, Kershaw set an even higher bar for the Dodgers' pitching staff. The Rockies had a wide lead for the highest batting average in baseball at .281, but they were almost all mowed down in short order by Kershaw.

It only took 107 pitches for Kershaw to complete his masterpiece, thanks in part to throwing 15 strikeouts and zero walks. In fact, the first 18 Rockies that came up were retired, until Ramirez had a wild throw go past first base to lead off the seventh. Corey Dickerson got to second on the error, yet he was stranded there as the only Rockies base runner the Dodgers had to contend with.

Fittingly, Dickerson was the last batter of the night, and he was fittingly retired on Kershaw's 15'th strikeout. The no-hitter upped his record in 2014 to 7-2, while lowering his ERA to 2.52. Compared to the 1.83 ERA he had in his second Cy Young campaign in 2013, that is still absurdly high for him.

Beckett had the opening no-hitter of the year, as Zach Greinke had a 9-3 record and Hyun-jin Ryu was at 8-3. For once, Kershaw hadn't been the undisputed ace of the Dodgers staff thus far, or even been a Cy Young favorite. But this game reminded everyone who stills leads the most stacked rotation in the National League.

The no-hitter was the only point of suspense in a game the Dodgers won easily. It was their third victory in a row and closed them to within four games of the slumping San Francisco Giants in the NL West. Despite all their pitching prowess and star power, the Dodgers had underachieved in the first several weeks of the season -- yet things are obviously falling right into place now for Kershaw and Los Angeles.

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