Twins activate right-hander Joe Nathan from disabled list

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As reported Thursday by Tom Pelissero of ESPN 1500 AM, the Twins have activated Joe Nathan from the disabled list and will have him available for Friday’s series-opener against the Brewers.

Jim Hoey, who has surrendered 22 hits and 17 runs in 14 innings of relief this season, was optioned back to Triple-A Rochester to make room.

Nathan returned a bit too quickly this year from Tommy John surgery and posted a 7.63 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in 17 appearances before landing on the disabled list in late May with inflammation in his elbow. He made three rehab appearances with Rochester this week, allowing only two hits and an unearned run while striking out five.

Matt Capps has done a fine job as Minnesota’s closer since Nathan’s early struggles got him removed from the role, and the current setup isn’t likely to change unless Nathan begins mowing batters down with great frequency. For now, the 36-year-old will simply try to get back to basics in setup duty.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.