Clayton Kershaw ranks third in MLB player jersey sales.

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw pauses before throwing the final pitch of his no-hitter June 18 at Dodger Stadium. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)


Turns out a no-hitter amounts to more than baseball history. It makes for good merchandising.

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw ranks third, behind New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey, on MLB’s list of jersey sales since Opening Day.

Kershaw threw his first career no-hitter on June 18 against the Colorado Rockies.

Yasiel Puig is ninth and Hyun-Jin Ryu is 18th as announced by MLB. The Dodgers are the only MLB club with three players on MLB’s top 20 jersey sales list.

Hyun-Jin Ryu throws for the first time since going on disabled list.

Hyun-Jin Ryu

(Associated Press photo)

Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu threw briefly from flat ground today for the first time since going on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation on April 28.

Manager Don Mattingly said that Ryu reported no pain and expects the left-hander to throw again tomorrow. Ryu’s injury is still not considered a long-term ailment.

“His touch and the way he’s worked in the past, he’s been able to basically throw a pen and be right back on it,” Mattingly said.

Depending on how he progresses, Mattingly said that Ryu might not need a minor-league rehabilitation assignment before he pitches his next major-league game.

“I don’t know if we could do it during a sim game but that will be (head athletic trainer Stan Conte’s) call.

Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder inflammation) hits disabled list; Stephen Fife likely to start Sunday.

Hyun-Jin Ryu

Hyun-Jin Ryu is 3-2 with a 3.00 earned-run average in seven starts this season for the Dodgers. (Sarah Reingewirtz/Staff photographer)

The Dodgers are without a starting pitcher Sunday after placing left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation.

Manager Don Mattingly told reporters in Miami that the injury isn’t considered serious and no MRI has been scheduled for Ryu. The DL stint is retroactive to April 28 and Ryu so if Ryu misses only the minimum 15 days, he’ll be eligible to return May 13.

The Dodgers’ schedule offers no favors: The team has no off-days between now and May 13. Who will start Sunday?
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Daily Distractions: The Dodgers won’t play today and Zack Greinke shouldn’t mind.

Zack  Greinke

Zack Greinke was scheduled to pitch in tonight’s game against the Minnesota Twins. (Associated Press photo)

Attention, Target Field shoppers: It’s raining in Minnesota.

It’s raining so much, that the Dodgers won’t play the Minnesota Twins today. The game has been postponed until Thursday at 4 p.m. (PST) as part of a day-night doubleheader, with the first game beginning at 10 a.m.

It couldn’t happen to a better pitcher.

While some hurlers are such creatures of habit that anything more or less than regular rest throws their performance off-kilter, Zack Greinke doesn’t seem to mind the occasional extra day. Tonight’s scheduled starter will presumably take the ball tomorrow night on six days’ rest. Here are Greinke’s career numbers on six days’ rest, via Baseball-Reference.com:

   W-L  ERA  IP    H   R  ER  HR  BB SO  HBP WP BF  WHIP   SO9 SO/W
   11-6 2.72 149.0 144 56 45  12  38 116  6  6  620 1.221  7.0 3.05

Greinke is also in the midst of a ridiculous hot streak that’s seen him pitch at least five innings without allowing more than two runs in 20 consecutive starts, including the 2013 postseason. That’s the longest such streak in the modern era, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

His numbers since last July 4: Greinke has a 1.76 ERA, averaging 8.9 strikeouts per nine innings against 8.5 baserunners, and five strikeouts for every walk. So the Twins have that to look forward to.

Some bullet points for a World Wish Day:
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Josh Beckett on track to make his 2014 debut Wednesday; Hyun-Jin Ryu to start Friday.

Josh Beckett is on the disabled list, but he looked anything but disabled Tuesday afternoon.

That’s Beckett, in the middle of the screen, covering first base on a simulated ground ball. In baseball terms, it was a routine pitcher’s fielding practice — “PFP drills” as they’re known. It was one of the last hurdles Beckett needed to clear before he could be cleared to make his 2014 debut on Wednesday.

“We haven’t announced it but he looks like the guy,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Obviously he’s still on the DL at this point. He did PFPs today. Everything went well. He looks like he’s ready to roll unless he does something tonight to his ankle.”

If Beckett starts tomorrow against the Detroit Tigers, it will be his first major-league start since May 13 of last year. The thoracic outlet syndrome that ended his 2013 season hasn’t been an issue since he reported to spring training.

Beckett dealt with a number of minor injuries after that — a thumb contusion in March, then an ankle/calf problem in his only rehabilitation start Friday.

“I had some swelling in my ankle. My calf was barking a little bit too,” Beckett said Sunday. “We kind of ruled that out. The calf got better with some treatment yesterday, some ice last night. … The ankle feels perfect.”

Hyun-Jin Ryu is locked in to start Friday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks after an off-day Thursday, Mattingly said.

If Beckett can’t pitch tomorrow for some reason?

“We’ll use our guys accordingly,” Mattingly said. “It depends on what happens tonight.”

Dodgers’ Josh Beckett throws bullpen session, on track to make his 2014 debut Wednesday.

Josh Beckett

Dodgers right-hander Josh Beckett threw a bullpen session Sunday. (Associated Press photo)

Josh Beckett is on track to make his 2014 debut Wednesday against the Detroit Tigers after throwing a normal bullpen session Sunday at Dodger Stadium.

The veteran right-hander has been on the 15-day disabled list with a right thumb contusion since the season began. He suffered the injury in spring training when the clubhouse door swung open and hit his thumb.

The thumb wasn’t an issue when Beckett threw four-plus innings in a minor-league rehab start Friday for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, but he aggravated something in his right calf/ankle area.

On Sunday, Beckett threw for about 15 minutes with head athletic trainer Stan Conte watching.

“It was better than yesterday,” he said.

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Hyun-Jin Ryu starts Sunday, Darnell Sweeney is an understated hero, and other postgame notes.

Darnell Sweeney

Dodgers prospect Darnell Sweeney is soaked with water and sports drink after hitting a single to center field in the 10th inning, scoring Trayvon Robinson and ending the game. The Dodgers defeated the Angels 5-4 in 10 innings. (John McCoy / Staff photographer)

Hyun-Jin Ryu will start for the Dodgers in San Diego on Sunday, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said after the Dodgers’ 5-4, 10-inning win over the Angels on Friday.

Ryu is already 1-0 with a 0.00 earned-run average after picking up the win last Sunday in Sydney, Australia. Ryu shut out the Arizona Diamondbacks for five innings before a toe injury caused him to come out of the game.

That injury has healed, Mattingly said, and Ryu will oppose Andrew Cashner at Petco Park in the Padres’ Opening Day game.

Clayton Kershaw was originally scheduled to start the game, but a back injury forced him to sit out. Kershaw might begin the season on the disabled list.

Ryu threw a bullpen session prior to Friday’s game and passed that preliminary test. Zack Greinke will pitch the second game of the series Tuesday against Ian Kennedy and Dan Haren will oppose Tyson Ross on Wednesday.

Haren will also start the finale of the Freeway Series on Saturday, a game that’s scheduled to begin just after 6 p.m. at Angel Stadium.

As for Friday’s game, played before an announced crowd of 39,143 at Dodger Stadium and interrupted by a magnitude 5.1 earthquake, the Dodgers nearly blew it.
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Clayton Kershaw throws, but he might begin the season on the disabled list.

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw was scratched from Sunday’s start in San Diego. (Getty Images)

Don Mattingly wouldn’t say so directly — he treats injury timetables like state secrets these days — but the next few days are critically important for Clayton Kershaw.

First, the good news: Kershaw played catch Friday at Dodger Stadium for the first time since an MRI of his left upper back Wednesday showed inflammation of the teres major muscle. Kershaw didn’t speak to reporters, but Mattingly filled in the details of his conversation with the pitcher.

“I think in his mind that went really well,” Mattingly said. “He said he didn’t feel anything throwing. He wasn’t trying to throw 95 (mph) or anything. My next question was, ‘did you feel anything the other day?’ and he said ‘yes.’ That tells us he’s taken a little step forward. That doesn’t mean a whole lot at this point, but that means we continue on with the process moving forward. He’ll throw again tomorrow with a little more intensity and we’ll see how that goes.”
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San Diego Padres announce starting assignments for Dodgers’ first series in North America.

San Diego Padres manager Bud Black told reporters in Peoria, Arizona on Saturday that Andrew Cashner, Ian Kennedy and Tyson Ross will start in that order against the Dodgers for their season-opening series against the Dodgers at Petco Park.

Cashner will start Opening Day on Sunday, March 30, a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN. Kennedy takes the ball on Tuesday, April 1 and Ross on Wednesday, April 2.

Also Saturday, the Padres learned that starter Josh Johnson will miss at least four weeks with a strained flexor muscle. Johnson wasn’t expected to start in the first series against the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said yesterday that Zack Greinke and Dan Haren will start two of the three Freeway Series games against the Angels, March 27-29. That rules both pitchers out for the March 30 and April 1 starts in San Diego. Expect Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu to get those assignments, with Josh Beckett and Paul Maholm serving as outside possibilities.

Dodgers 3, Colorado Rockies 3: Of course spring training ends in a tie.

Hyun-Jin Ryu

Hyun-Jin Ryu threw 5 1/3 innings and allowed one earned run in his final Cactus League start. (Associated Press photo)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Dodgers ended the Cactus League portion of their season the only appropriate way: With a tie.

The Colorado Rockies scored a run in the seventh inning off Chris Withrow, tying the game 3-3, and the Dodgers’ final game in North America until March 27 ended in a tie. It was the Dodgers’ fifth tie in 21 exhibition games, giving them a final spring training record of 6-10-5.

Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 ⅓ innings. Not unusually, he encountered the most trouble early.

Charlie Blackmon led off the game with a single but was picked off the bag. In the second inning, the Rockies got back-to-back singles by Matt McBride and Charlie Culberson. Both runners advanced a base when Ryu’s pickoff throw to second base got away from everyone for a throwing error.

The second inning ended on a dramatic double play — for a minute. McBride, trying to score on a sacrifice fly to right field by Jordan Pacheco, was out at home plate on a nearly 300-foot throw by Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig. Rockies manager Walt Weiss challenged the call. One television replay clearly showed that Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis missed McBride on his tag attempt. The umpires don’t always have the same vantage point when reviewing a call in Cactus League play, but the crew correctly overturned the call.

The Dodgers players had all retreated to the dugout after the apparent inning-ending double play. They filed back onto the field, Ryu made a couple warm-up tosses, then got D.J. LeMahieu to pop out on one pitch.

Adrian Gonzalez‘s single through a drawn-in infield scored Carl Crawford with the Dodgers’ first run. With Gonzalez on first base, Juan Uribe hit an RBI to the left-center field gap, scoring Gonzalez with the go-ahead run.

In the fifth inning, Gonzalez hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to drive in Ryu and pad the Dodgers’ lead. Ryu drew a walk to lead off the inning against Jordan Lyles and Carl Crawford followed with a single up the middle. Right-hander Bruce Kern relieved Lyles and allowed a single to left field by Hanley Ramirez that loaded the bases. Gonzalez’s fly ball to center field was plenty deep for Ryu to tag up and score without a throw.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Ryu gave up a solo home run to Nolan Arenado on a 2-2 fastball at the knees, bringing the Rockies within 3-2.

Chris Perez, J.P. Howell and Kenley Jansen didn’t allow a run out of the bullpen.

The Dodgers finished with a cumulative attendance of 114,402 in 12 home dates at Camelback Ranch for an average of 9,534, the highest average attendance since the team relocated Spring Training to Arizona in 2009. Last year, the Dodgers drew 133,460 in 17 home dates (including one WBC game) for an average of 7,851.

The box score is here.