Kershaw faced seven batters, struck out two, induced four ground-ball outs and issued the one walk. Neither team had scored before he left the game.
A three-time Cy Young Award winner widely regarded as baseball’s best pitcher, Kershaw missed more than two months last season for back issues and finished with a 12-4 record and 1.69 ERA in 21 starts, only the second time in eight seasons that he made fewer than 30 starts.
He was 15-2 with a majors-best 2.07 ERA in 20 starts before Sunday and led the National League in innings (139 1/3) and strikeouts (166). The walk by Flowers was just the 24th issued by Kershaw.
Against the Braves, Kershaw was 3-0 with a 1.52 ERA in eight career starts before Sunday including 3-0 with 0.60 ERA in four starts since the beginning of the 2014 season.