Clayton Kershaw suspended five games, will appeal

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As first reported by Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Major League Baseball handed a five-game suspension to Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday for intentionally throwing at Giants outfielder Aaron Rowand on Tuesday night.

Dodgers manager Joe Torre and bench coach Bob Schaefer were also suspended one game each for their actions following Kershaw’s ejection.

The left-handed Kershaw has decided to appeal and will remain available to the Dodgers until that process is carried out.  He may be able to avoid missing a start if all goes according to plan.

Through 20 starts this season, Kershaw has posted a 9-5 record, a 3.15 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.  He has also fanned 135 batters in 122 2/3 innings for a 9.90 K/9 that ranks first among all National League starters.  The Dodgers are 49-45 on the season — six games back of the Padres in the National League West.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

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The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.