Two days later, Matt Kemp returns to disabled list


Matt Kemp said this one was worse than the original injury, and he was placed back on the disabled list Thursday just two days after returning from a strained left hamstring.

Kemp aggravated the injury running the bases in Wednesday’s game and soon afterwards snapped a bat over his thigh in frustration.

“He has a little bit of swelling in the same area, as well as a new strain in a higher part of that hamstring,” said trainer Sue Falsone.

Falsone added that Kemp will be sidelined at least four weeks. Fortunately, the Dodgers got off to such a strong start that they should be able to withstand the absence. Even though they’ve lost three games in a row, they’re still 32-18 on the season, putting them 5 1/2 games up on the Giants in the NL West.

Expect to see a lot more Tony Gwynn Jr. while Kemp is out. Gwynn, who is hitting .279/.318/.344 on the season, will likely lead off against right-handers. Elian Herrera could make some starts in center against lefties, with the newly recalled Alex Castellanos playing second base.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.