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Clayton Kershaw becomes Dodgers’ franchise strikeout leader

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Los Angeles Dodgers

Apr 30, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) acknowledges fans after striking out Detroit Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson (20) during the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium. The strikeout is the 2,697th of Kershaw’s career and puts him above former pitcher Don Sutton for most career strikeouts all time with the Dodgers. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw became the Dodgers’ career strikeout leader against the Tigers.

The 33-year-old lefty began the game needing four to pass Don Sutton. He got Dustin Garneau to chase a curveball in the third inning to tie the Hall of Famer.

Kershaw got Spencer Torkelson to whiff on a slider low and inside for his 2,697th strikeout and pass Sutton.

Kershaw received a standing ovation from the fans at Dodger Stadium and tipped his cap after getting the record.

Since the start of the live-ball era in 1920, Kershaw has the lowest career ERA (2.48) and WHIP (1.00) among starting pitchers with at least 1,500 innings. He is fourth among active players in strikeouts.

“It speaks to longevity and consistency. It’s just going to add to his lore, not only in Dodger but baseball history,” Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said about the record before the game. “I think that for a fan base that’s followed him his entire career, to ultimately reach this milestone at home, get that ovation and share that with the fans certainly makes it sweeter.”

Kershaw has spent his entire 15-year career in Dodger blue. The three-time Cy Young Award winner signed a one-year deal in March after the lockout ended that could earn him as much as $22 million.

Don Drysdale is third on the Dodgers’ career strikeout list with 2,486 and Sandy Koufax is fourth at 2,396. Both of those Hall of Famers began their careers when the Dodgers played in Brooklyn.