Scott Baker scratched from start due to elbow strain

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Gleeman penned a piece at the end of June explaining how right-hander Scott Baker had quietly become the ace of the Twins’ current starting rotation. Now we get to call Gleeman a jinx.

According to beat writer Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com, an MRI taken Thursday on Baker’s throwing elbow showed a mild flexor muscle strain.

The Twins have already scratched him from his next scheduled start and will ask Anthony Swarzak to take the mound in his place Sunday afternoon against the White Sox. A 25-year-old former second-round pick, Swarzak has posted a decent 3.71 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 34 major league innings this season. He threw six innings of two-run ball in his last start.

Baker has not been put on the disabled list and might be able to avoid it altogether with the All-Star break now just days away. The 29-year-old has a 3.01 ERA and 1.17 WHIP through his first 17 outings this season.

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.