Clayton Kershaw goes on DL for 1st time in career

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The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw throws his first pitch of the Major League Baseball 2014 season during the opening game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks at the Sydney Cricket ground in Sydney, Saturday, March 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw throws his first pitch of the Major League Baseball 2014 season during the opening game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks at the Sydney Cricket ground in Sydney, Saturday, March 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw pitches during the the Major League Baseball opening game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, Australia Saturday, March 22, 2014. The Dodgers won the game 3-1. (AP Photo/Michelle O’Connor)

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw arrives for training at the Sydney Cricket ground in Sydney, Friday, March 21, 2014. Major League Baseball will open their season Saturday in Sydney with the Dodgers taking on the Arizona Diamondbacks. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw walks off the field after he was throne out trying to stretch a single during the Major League Baseball opening game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks at the Sydney Cricket ground in Sydney, Saturday, March 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday for the first time in his seven-year career because of a swollen muscle in his left upper back.

The 26-year-old left-hander, coming off his second Cy Young Award in three years, already had been scratched from his scheduled start in San Diego on Sunday after an MRI revealed the problem. Kershaw was hoping to get back in the rotation for Friday’s home opener against San Francisco.

Kershaw has made 33 starts, struck out at least 229 batters and logged 227 2-3 innings or more in each of the last three seasons — including a career-high 236 innings last year, when he finished 16-9 with an NL-best 232 strikeouts and a 1.83 ERA.

Kershaw led the majors in ERA for the third straight year, becoming the first pitcher to accomplish that feat since newly elected Hall of Famer Greg Maddux did it from 1993-95.

Kershaw, who signed a $215 million, seven-year contract on Jan. 15, won the Dodgers’ season opener 3-1 against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia last weekend.

Associated Press

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