Clayton Kershaw leaves start with lower-back pain

Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw left Thursday’s game against the San Francisco Giants with an apparent back injury. 

Kershaw exited the game after four innings with what the Dodgers called “low-back pain.” 

Kershaw threw 66 pitches on Thursday, allowing just one earned run off three hits while striking out four. 

The 34-year-old ace is 7-3 with a 2.64 ERA in 15 starts for the Dodgers this season. 

After the game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Kershaw’s back “checked up on him” during a warm-up throw ahead of the fifth inning. Roberts added that Kershaw would undergo tests in Los Angeles on Friday and didn’t rule out a possible IL stint for the nine-time All-Star. 

The Dodgers prevailed over the Giants Thursday, even without Kershaw. Phil Bickford, Chris Martin, Caleb Ferguson, Alex Vesia and Craig Kimbrel pulled the weight out of the pen, and outfielder Mookie Betts smashed a three-run home run to lead L.A. to a 5-3 victory. 

The Dodgers hold the best record in the major leagues, at 72-33, and currently lead the NL West by 12 games over the San Diego Padres.