Los Angeles Dodgers (42-36) at Kansas City Royals (40-36), 8:10 p.m. (ET)

 

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(SportsNetwork.com) - Left-hander Clayton Kershaw makes his first appearance since throwing one of the premier games in big-league history on Tuesday night, when he leads the Los Angeles Dodgers into game two of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium with the Kansas City Royals.

Kershaw allowed no hits, struck out 15 and permitted only one baserunner -- who reached on an error -- on Wednesday night when he blanked the Colorado Rockies, 8-0.

The 15 strikeouts were the third-most ever compiled in a no-hitter.

The two-time National League Cy Young Award winner was pounded for seven runs while retiring only five batters in an 18-7 drubbing by Arizona on May 17. In six starts since, he's allowed seven runs in 42 innings while winning five of six decisions.

Kershaw signed a seven-year contract extension in the offseason that's worth $215 million.

"All the guys sit and watch, and you listen to them and they'll say that nobody deserves this more than him," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He works hard every day. He does everything right. He's a great teammate. The two Cy Youngs don't even get in the way. It's just so nice to watch someone like that."

The Royals had lost four straight before winning Monday's opener and had scored just 10 runs in five games.

"It's a funny game," KC manager Ned Yost said. "We strung some hits together along with some outstanding pitching we've had the last five or six starts. It's a big win for us."

Kansas City won 10 straight games through June 18. They began the four-game slide the following day with lefty Danny Duffy on the mound.

Still, Duffy returns to face Kershaw while aiming to continue a stretch in which he's gone 2-1 with a 1.75 earned run average over his last four starts.

He missed the majority of 2013 after undergoing ligament-replacement surgery in his elbow and began 2014 coming out of the bullpen.

"They keep asking, 'Has Duffy arrived? Is Duffy there yet?'" Yost said. "I'm like, 'OK, I think he's there,' because his last four or five starts have been really, really good."

Duffy has never pitched against the Dodgers.

On Monday, Salvador Perez smacked a solo homer among his two hits and scored twice, as the Royals defeated the Dodgers, 5-3. LA is four games behind San Francisco for the NL West lead, while the Royals are two games in back of Detroit for AL Central bragging rights.

Jeremy Guthrie (5-6) fanned five and allowed two runs on seven hits over 7 2/3 innings for the Royals. Adrian Gonzalez belted a leadoff blast against Greg Holland in the ninth to whittle the deficit to 5-3, but the Kansas City closer recorded the final three outs in succession to notch his 22nd save.

Zack Greinke (9-4) yielded five runs on 11 hits over 5 2/3 frames for Los Angeles.

The Dodgers and Royals are meeting for the first time since 2005.

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