Twins expecting to get Justin Morneau back on Friday

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Good news, Twins fans.

According to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com, first baseman Justin Morneau is scheduled to return from the disabled list Friday in Cleveland.

Morneau has been sidelined since undergoing surgery on his neck in late June. The 30-year-old native of Canada is batting just .225 this season with a .619 OPS, four home runs and 21 RBI in 231 plate appearances, but he’s been hitting the ball well on his minor league rehab assignment and is certainly capable of catching fire down the stretch.

The Twins are currently 10 1/2 games back of the Tigers in the American League Central standings. Morneau is owed $14 million in 2012 and another $14 million in 2013. He’ll be a free agent after that.

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.