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Josh Beckett pitched the first no-hitter of his stellar career and the first in the majors this season, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Philadelphia Phillies 6-0 on Sunday.
NEW YORK – Yasiel Puig knew the question was coming. What about that rocket throw to third base Tuesday night? The one you made when the inning was already over?
MIAMI – The smugglers who helped Los Angeles Dodgers star Yasiel Puig leave Cuba on a speedboat have made death threats against him and against a Cuban boxer who says he defected with Puig, according to court documents. The documents are part of a federal lawsuit in Miami and describe a dangerous odyssey of shady characters, unpaid smuggling debts and threats of violence that have followed Puig since he left Cuba by boat in June 2012.
SAN FRANCISCO – Yasiel Puig believes he has the support from his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates and the club to help him keep his focus on baseball despite challenges off the field. Puig returned to the starting lineup in right field for Thursday’s series finale against the Giants amid reports that smugglers who helped him defect from Cuba had threatened his life.
In a statement issued by his agent Wednesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig said he won’t be saying anything about the recent Los Angeles Magazine article detailing his escape from Cuba. “I’m aware of the recent articles and new accounts. I understand that people are curious and have questions, but I will have no comment on this subject. I’m represented on this matter, and I’m only focused on being a productive teammate and helping the Dodgers win games.”
SAN DIEGO – For one day at least, the moderate-payroll San Diego Padres are in first place in the N.L. West, ahead of the big-spending Los Angeles Dodgers. Seth Smith hit a towering drive for a tying homer leading off the eighth and Chris Denorfia singled home two runs to give the Padres a 3-1 victory against the rival Dodgers in baseball’s North American opener Sunday night.
After a 15-hour flight from the U.S. west coast, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers arrived to a very low-key welcome in Sydney, Australia for their season-opening series this weekend. The Diamondbacks arrived first at Sydney airport about 6 a.m. local time Tuesday morning, followed about four hours later by the Dodgers.
LOS ANGELES – An angry judge lashed out Thursday as he sentenced two men who pleaded guilty in the savage beating of a die-hard San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium, calling them cowards and a nightmare for people who go to games. Judge George Lomeli also called out defendant Louie Sanchez for smirking during the hearing on the 2011 beating that left 45-year-old victim Bryan Stow brain damaged and permanently disabled, requiring 24-hour-a-day care.
Even Clayton Kershaw has trouble contemplating the enormity of a $215 million, seven-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers that makes him baseball’s richest pitcher. The team finalized the deal Friday. The 25-year-old ace said that talking money is “a little bit uncomfortable for me.” Kershaw and his wife, Ellen, have been discussing how to spend the money, and most of their ideas revolve around charitable interests. The couple supports an orphanage in Africa and two groups that fund after-school programs for children. They have no children of their own. “Ellen and I understand the effects we can have on a lot of people with this money,” he said. “We realize to whom much is given much is expected and that’s what we’re going to try and do.” – AP
Pitcher Clayton Kershaw agreed Wednesday to a $215 million, seven-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a person familiar with the negotiations said, a deal that makes the two-time Cy Young Award winner baseball’s first player with a $30 million average salary. Kershaw receives the most lucrative deal for a pitcher, breaking the mark of $180 million set by Justin Verlander last March for his seven-year contract with Detroit. Kershaw would have been eligible for free agency after the upcoming season if the new deal hadn’t been reached. He was eligible for salary arbitration. He was coming off a two-year, $20 million deal that included $200,000 in bonuses in 2012, a $500,000 escalator to his 2013 base salary, and $300,000 in bonuses last year. – AP
ST. LOUIS – Carlos Beltran, Michael Wacha and the St. Louis Cardinals are going to the World Series – not even Clayton Kershaw could stop them this year. Beltran and the Cardinals stunned the Dodgers’ ace with a four-run third inning, Wacha was again magnificent on the mound and St. Louis advanced to its second World Series in three seasons by roughing up the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-0 in Game 6 of the N.L. championship series Friday night.
Carlos Beltran, Michael Wacha and the St. Louis Cardinals are going to the World Series — not even Clayton Kershaw could stop them this year.
LOS ANGELES – It took the Dodgers five games to hit a home run in the N.L. championship series. Once Adrian Gonzalez powered up for the first one, their dormant offense broke loose. Gonzalez homered twice and Zack Greinke came through with the clutch performance Los Angeles needed in a 6-4 victory over the Cardinals on Wednesday that trimmed St. Louis’ lead to 3-2 in the best-of-seven playoff.
Despite a breathtaking ninth-inning rally, the St. Louis Cardinals fanned on their first chance to close out the N.L. Championship Series for the second straight season.
ST. LOUIS – Carlos Beltran capped his latest scintillating postseason performance with an RBI single in the 13th inning early Saturday that lifted the St. Louis Cardinals over the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 in the N.L. championship series opener. Beltran hit a tying, two-run double in the third inning, then threw out a runner at the plate from right field in the 10th to keep it even.
Carl Crawford hit a three-run homer, Juan Uribe added a two-run shot and Los Angeles routed the Atlanta Braves 13-6 on Sunday night for a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five N.L. Division Series.
PHOENIX – The Los Angeles Dodgers soaked everyone in sight with champagne in the clubhouse. Many players raced back out for a celebratory dip in Arizona’s Chase Field swimming pool. From last place to an N.L. West title in less than three months, they sure let loose.
Matt Kemp has plenty of souvenirs from his return to the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup: three hits and one injured ankle. Kemp homered and doubled in the same inning Sunday in his first two at-bats off the disabled list. He went 3 for 4 in the Dodgers’ 9-2 win over the Washington Nationals.