Dodgers ace Kershaw sets postseason strikeout record

Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw became the all-time leader in postseason strikeouts when he fanned Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier leading off the fifth inning of Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday night.

Kershaw got Kiermaier swinging on a 1-2 fastball for the 206th punchout of his playoff career, passing Justin Verlander for No. 1 on the all-time list. He entered the game at 201 strikeouts after whiffing eight in Game 1 of the series being played at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Kershaw matched Verlander’s total when he struck out Willy Adames on a curveball with runners on first and third and one out in the fourth inning with the score 3-2 Dodgers at the time. Kershaw got out of the jam when Manuel Margot was out trying to steal home one batter later.

Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young winner, entered Sunday’s contest 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA in four starts this postseason. The 32-year-old is still seeking the first World Series title of his 13-year career, all spent with the Dodgers.

Setting a record at Kershaw’s expense in the game Sunday was Rays rookie Randy Arozarena, whose RBI single in the third inning gave him 27 hits this postseason to surpass Pablo Sandoval’s single postseason record set in 2014. During these playoffs, Arozarena has also set single postseason records for home runs (nine) and total bases (58 entering Sunday).

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