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Sports >  MLB

MLB Notebook: Clayton Kershaw tosses as Dodgers stay cautious

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves in Los Angeles, Sunday, July 23, 2017. (Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves in Los Angeles, Sunday, July 23, 2017. (Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

Clayton Kershaw played catch for the second day in a row Saturday, giving the Los Angeles Dodgers another positive sign that he is closer to pitching again than they originally speculated.

The 10-minute session prior to the Dodgers’ game Saturday against San Francisco came after Manager Dave Roberts said Kershaw’s activities would depend upon how he felt after Friday night’s throwing session. How many days in a row will Kershaw be allowed to pick up a baseball?

“That’s in the hands of the medical staff,” Roberts said. “He said he felt good today, and they gave him the green light to go play catch.”

Kershaw was forced by lower back stiffness to end his most recent start after two innings Sunday against Atlanta. The Dodgers originally put a four-to-six week time frame on Kershaw’s return, but allowed him to resume throwing Friday after he reported feeling no negative symptoms.

“He’ll continue to ramp up, how aggressively I think that’s going to be up to the medical staff,” Roberts said. “They have keen eyes on him, so we’ll see.”

The Dodgers have yet to decide whether their ace who was 15-2 with a baseball-best 2.04 ERA will travel with the team on their road trip next week.

“Being on an airplane, what’s best for his back, how much he’s going to get out of being on the road with us,” Roberts said. “And I’ll defer to him and the trainer.”

D-back’s Ray to DL

The Arizona Diamondbacks have put All-Star lefty Robbie Ray on the seven-day concussion disabled list, a day after he was hit in the head by a line drive in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Ray was in the clubhouse on Saturday before Arizona played at Busch Stadium.

Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said Ray had symptoms of a concussion, but that his cognitive testing and balance were good.

Ray is 9-5 with a 3.11 ERA in 20 starts. He left Friday night’s game in the second inning after being struck by a line drive from rookie Luke Voit.

Ray issued a statement via his Twitter account thanking fans for their support.

Gray’s start pushed back

The Oakland Athletics have pushed back Sonny Gray’s next scheduled start until after Monday afternoon’s trade deadline.

Gray has been the subject of much trade speculation. He was supposed to pitch Sunday against Minnesota, but now is set to throw against San Francisco on Monday night. That game would be hours after teams must conclude any deals without waivers.

Gray is 6-5 with a 3.43 ERA. He’s 4-2 with a 1.38 ERA over his last six starts.

Kemp to DL with hamstring issue

The Atlanta Braves have placed outfielder Matt Kemp on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.

The 32-year-old Kemp was injured as he rounded first base in Friday night’s 10-3 loss to the Phillies. In 88 games, he is batting .290 with 14 homers and 48 RBIs.

Brock free of cancer

Hall of Fame outfielder Lou Brock says he is free of cancer more than three months after the 78-year-old St. Louis Cardinals great announced he had been diagnosed with a type of blood cancer.

Brock said in a statement Friday that a doctor’s diagnosis that he had conquered multiple myeloma was “the greatest news ever.” He credited God and thanked family, friends and fans for their support, saying he remained hopeful.

He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1985.

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