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Clayton Kershaw day by day: Lone star(t) state

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Kershaw’s only career start against the Rangers came in 2015

Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Clayton Kershaw has only started once on June 17, and it came five years ago today. It remains to date his only career start against the Rangers, his “hometown” team.

This game in 2015 wasn’t even in Arlington, which is about 23 miles from Kershaw’s high school. To date, he’s never pitched a game against the Rangers in Texas. Kershaw wears number 22 in part because his favorite player growing up was Will Clark, then on the Rangers.

The Dodgers threatened often against Wandy Rodriguez, but by the time they finally scored against him Texas had already built a 4-0 lead against Kershaw. Rougned Odor delivered RBIs in the second and fourth innings, and in between Joey Gallo struck, and struck hard.

I’m sure I pumped my fist after writing this line in my game recap:

After we got to hear Blackstreet’s ‘No Diggity’ as Kershaw’s new at-bat music in the second inning, Gallo left no doubt in the third inning, crushing a ball well into the upper half of the right field pavilion for a two-out, two-run home run and a 3-0 Rangers advantage.

Kershaw recovered after trailing 4-0 to retire seven of his final eight batters, and picked off the lone batter to reach base in that span. He struck out 10, but his four runs allowed snapped a long streak at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers rallied for three runs in the sixth thanks to Scott Van Slyke and Alex Guerrero, but the game remained a one-run affair until Prince Fielder provided insurance with a solo homer against Josh Ravin in the ninth. Texas won, 5-3.

The outing (L, 5-4): 6 IP, 5 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 1 walks, 10 strikeouts

Up next: A pretty big day for Kershaw