Clayton Kershaw feels good after Quakes game

One, two, three.

One, two, three.

One, two, three.

Down batters went as Clayton Kershaw pitched for the Class-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Friday night as part of his effort to return from a back injury that put him on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

The Dodgers pitcher said after his appearance that he "felt good, felt healthy" and that he was "ready to go."

His only hiccup came in the fifth inning — the final one he pitched — when he gave up a solo home run to the first batter he faced, Carlos Perdomo of the Lancaster Jethawks.

"He put a good swing on it," Kershaw said. "Three and one, I didn't want to walk another guy, so he did what he's supposed to."

Kershaw, who had thrown 43 pitches before giving up the home run, recovered quickly. The next batter grounded out and Kershaw struck out the two batters after that to close out the night with 56 pitches, only one above the pitch count Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly had set earlier in the week.

Kershaw had two six-pitch innings and threw only seven pitches in the first inning, going three and out in three of his five innings. He finished with six strikeouts and held the Jethawks to one run in five innings.

"Every time you pitch there's obviously going to be nerves but it felt good today," the National League Cy Young Award winner said. "I think everything kind of went to plan."

Kershaw said he had not spoken to his manager and did not know what was next in his rehabilitation process. Earlier Friday, Mattingly said he wanted the pitcher to throw at least one more game in the minor leagues before rejoining the Dodgers' rotation.

"I think we're pretty firm on that," Mattingly said.

Kershaw has been on the disabled list since March 30. He last pitched in the majors on March 22 against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia during the first game of the 2014 season.

A few days later he was put on the disabled list with a strained upper-back muscle.

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