Braves to Face Rookie Pitcher in Game 2 of NLCS After Dodgers' Kershaw Scratched

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Clayton Kershaw has been scratched from his start for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the NL Championship Series due to back spasms.

The Dodgers announced the decision on their longtime ace Tuesday, about seven hours before the first pitch in Arlington, Texas.

Right-hander Tony Gonsolin will start in Kershaw’s place in Game 2 with the Dodgers down 1-0 in the series to the Atlanta Braves. The 26-year-old Gonsolin will be making his major league postseason debut.

After missing his opening start of the regular season with back tightness, Kershaw had a resurgent year while the Dodgers finished with the majors’ best record, going 6-2 with a 2.16 ERA in 10 starts. He had 62 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings.

Kershaw has kept it up in the postseason with victories in two strong starts. He threw eight scoreless innings of three-hit, 13-strikeout ball to beat Milwaukee in the wild card round, and he picked up another win in the Division Series while allowing three runs over six innings against San Diego.

Kershaw has dominated the Braves throughout his career, going 7-0 with a 1.49 ERA in 14 starts. He is 2-0 in three postseason starts against Atlanta, allowing just one earned run in 21 innings.

Gonsolin earned a spot in the Dodgers’ rotation late in the season after several outstanding starts. He had a 2.31 ERA in nine games during the regular season, earning regular appearances for Los Angeles down the stretch with a series of strong starts.

The Dodgers didn’t immediately announce any adjustment to their rotation for the rest of the NLCS.