Dodgers place Clayton Kershaw in 15-day IL

A day after left-handed Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw left Thursday’s start early against the San Francisco Giants with an apparent back injury, manager Dave Roberts noted that it was all but a guarantee that the Lower back pain would put Kershaw on the injured reserve list for a hopefully short time.

The Dodgers have since confirmed the inevitable.

According to ESPN and The Associated Press, the Dodgers placed Kershaw on the IL ahead of Friday’s home game against the San Diego Padres. In matching roster moves, Los Angeles activated utility player Chris Taylor from IL, recalled right-hander Reyes Moronta and opted for outfielder James Outman.

According to Juan Toribio of the Dodgers’ website, the three-time National League Cy Young Award winner felt his back tighten as he warmed up to pitch the fifth inning Thursday night. Following a visit with coach Thomas Albert, the future Hall of Famer with a long history of back problems quit the game.

“I just felt something lock in there in the fifth and I couldn’t really pitch after that,” Kershaw told reporters Thursday. “Something in my back again. … I saw a doctor, but really nothing to do until – just seeing how I wake up in the morning, that’s probably the first thing, then go from the.”

The 34-year-old missed time earlier this spring with an inflamed pelvic joint. He is 7-3 with a 2.64 ERA in 15 starts this season.

Meanwhile, the 72-33 Dodgers started Friday with the best record in all of MLB.

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