From the time Clayton Kershaw showed up in the Dodgers' spring-training camp as a 19-year-old, there were signals he was destined for stardom that went beyond his electric fastball and knee-buckling curveball.

There was something inside that distinguished him from the other players.

That something was on display for a national television audience Sunday night, when Kershaw took the ball and his injured right hip to the mound at Great American Ball Park.

Kershaw's performance in a 5-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds was far from his most dominant, but was among his most courageous.

Pitching on 12 days' rest, he was uncharacteristically wild, walking a season-high five batters. He allowed 11 Reds to reach base. But in the five tumultuous innings he pitched, only one run scored.