Kershaw's stellar July rewarded by league

Kershaw's stellar July rewarded by league

Kershaw's stellar July rewarded by league
Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, who went 4-1 with a 2.02 ERA and National League-leading 45 strikeouts in July, was named the NL Pitcher of the Month.

The 2011 All-Star was tied for the NL lead in wins and had the third-lowest ERA among NL starters, logging 35 2/3 innings of work.

His eight walks were the fewest by any pitcher with at least 30 strikeouts, as he went on to earn his first career monthly award.

After losing his first start of the month, Kershaw went on to win his next four, striking out nine in eight shutout innings against the Mets on July 7. He then led off the second half of the season with seven more innings of solid work, striking out eight against the D-backs.

The young lefty put an exclamation point on a great month by striking out a season-high 12 in eight shutout innings as he blanked the defending champion Giants, 1-0, in San Francisco.

In the final four starts of the month, Kershaw went 4-0 with a 0.61 ERA (two earned runs in 29 2/3 innings) while limiting opposing hitters to a .194 batting average.

Kershaw ranks second in the Majors and first in the NL with 177 strikeouts this year, and his 161 1/3 innings of work are second-most in the NL. He has already matched a previous season-high with 13 wins this year.

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.