Clayton Kershaw start pushed back

PHOENIX -- Mindful of his heavy workload this season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have pushed back ace Clayton Kershaw's start to Saturday in San Diego, three days after he was originally scheduled to pitch.

The move means Kershaw, who leads the majors with 223 innings pitched -- 10 short of his career high -- will now make two more regular-season starts instead of three.

MLB.com earlier reported the move.

"We've been talking about Kersh as the year has gone on. It just seems like every time out, it's seven, eight, nine innings," said manager Don Mattingly. "I know [general manager] Ned [Colletti] is concerned and the whole organization is concerned with how are we going to keep his innings down."

Kershaw originally was scheduled to start Wednesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Had he pitched Wednesday and stayed on four days' rest the remainder of the season, he would have lined up to pitch Game 1 of a playoff series, which starts Oct. 3. Now, he would be on six days' rest for Game 1.

"I'm going to get stir-crazy around when I should be starting, but I understand," Kershaw said. "Saturday will get here fast enough."

Right-hander Stephen Fife will start Wednesday's game.

Kershaw, 25, also boasts the majors' best ERA at 1.94 and leads the National League with 214 strikeouts this season. The left-hander is 14-9 in 31 starts and is a front-runner for the NL Cy Young Award.

The Dodgers (86-64) entered Tuesday with a 9½-game lead over the Diamondbacks atop the NL West.

Fife, 26, is 4-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 11 games -- nine starts -- this season.