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MLB Tonight: Clayton Kershaw throws no-hitter

The Rockies picked up a former All-Star on Wednesday.

Unfortunately for the Rockies, pitcher Jair Jurrjens, whom the Rockies acquired from the Reds, has not pitched up to that level since he was named an All-Star with the Braves in 2011.

The Rockies traded Double-A first baseman Harold Riggins to the Reds for Jurrjens, who will start against the Dodgers on Friday.

Jurrjens has not pitched in the Major Leagues since June 29, 2013, and hasn't made a Major League start since May 18, 2013.

Jurrjens has spent this season pitching for Triple-A Louisville in the International League, where he has gone 2-3 with a 4.46 ERA in six outings. The Rockies will be the fifth organization Jurrjens has pitched for since 2012.

The Rockies and Jurrjens have a tall task in front of them if they want to get a win on Friday. If the Rockies can get one hit off Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, it will be an improvement from the last time they squared off against him.

Kershaw had the most dominant outing of his stellar career against the Rockies on June 18, tossing a no-hitter at Dodger Stadium while striking out 15 batters. The only baserunner reached on an error by Hanley Ramirez.

Kershaw has been the best pitcher in baseball since that no-hitter. He hasn't given up a run over 28 consecutive innings.

Since dominating the Rockies, Kershaw has picked up two wins, striking out 21 batters in 15 innings while surrendering 11 hits and only three walks.

Over the course of his last four starts, he has lowered his ERA from 3.17 on June 8 to 2.04 entering Friday's game.

Kershaw was named the National League's June Pitcher of the Month, and he'll look to continue that success into July. If he keeps it up, he has a very real chance to start the All-Star Game on July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis, despite missing a month of the season due to a left shoulder injury.

Dodgers: Hanley returns to lineup
The Ramirez saga took a positive turn on Thursday, when his calf and shoulder passed on-field tests and he was returned to the Dodgers' starting lineup at shortstop for the opener of a four-game series with the Rockies. Ramirez went 0-for-2, with a pair of walks.

Ramirez has been nursing calf and shoulder ailments, but has somehow stayed off the disabled list, being used sporadically as a pinch-hitter. Manager Don Mattingly, who has flip-flopped on the likelihood of Ramirez being placed on the disabled list, watched the workout and said he was convinced Ramirez was healthy enough to play and get to the All-Star break.

"I feel he can run 100 percent," said Mattingly. "I don't think he's playing three-quarters. We're not afraid he's going to get hurt. The fact he can run changes things, because we don't have to pinch-run for him and use two players. He feels really good. He ran pretty good."

Mattingly said Ramirez probably wouldn't play all four games in Denver, and added that a two-game series in Detroit that follows was a factor in the decision because Ramirez can be the designated hitter in those games.

Rockies: Key players returning from injury
Several Rockies regulars are making their way off the disabled list.

Third baseman Nolan Arenado returned to the lineup against the Dodgers on Friday after missing six weeks with a broken left middle finger -- an injury he sustained sliding into second base in a game against the Braves in late May.

Aredano went 0-for-4 on Thursday, but should provide a boost to the Rockies' offense. Before the injury, he was hitting .305 and had 23 extra-base hits.

Additional help for the lineup may arrive in about two weeks. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez may return from the 15-day disabled list after having surgery on his left index finger.

In addition, reliever Boone Logan should be available "in the next day or two," manager Walt Weiss said on Thursday.

Logan went on the 15-day disabled list with a sore left elbow on June 5. He has struggled with the Rockies this season, putting up a 5.87 ERA in 21 games.

The Rockies will welcome back their players with open arms, as they have struggled of late -- especially at home. Since Aredano left the lineup on May 23, the Rockies are 10-28 and are 4-12 at home.

"We're going to have to turn things around here quickly," Weiss said. "We've got some games at home coming up. We feel like we're tough at home. It's a good time to turn this thing around."

Worth noting
• The Dodgers confirmed six international signings effective Wednesday, headed by 16-year-old Venezuelan outfielder Romer Cuadrado for a reported $750,000.

• Jurrjens will be the 13th different starting pitcher the Rockies have used this season.

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