Clayton Kershaw strikes out nine in final rehab start

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Clayton Kershaw should be activated next week.

The Dodgers’ ace left-hander made his second (and likely final) minor league rehab start on Wednesday evening for the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts, yielding two runs but fanning nine batters over five solid innings against the Southern League affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Kershaw threw 56 pitches in his rehab debut last Friday night with High-A Rancho Cucamonga and made it to 86 pitches Wednesday in Chattanooga. In his next outing — which will probably be Monday against the Washington Nationals — his pitch count can jump near 100.

Kershaw has been on the disabled list since March 29 with a teres major muscle strain — the same injury Michael Pineda suffered this week. Kershaw has been limited to one regular-season start since signing his $215 million contract extension in January, and that outing was at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Australia.

A touching moment from Kershaw’s start Wednesday for the Lookouts:

Daniel Murphy had microfracture surgery on his right knee

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The Nationals announced today that second baseman Daniel Murphy had surgery on his right knee. The surgery: a debridement and microfracture procedure, which is pretty major.

The team’s comment about Murphy’s prognosis makes it sound major too: “rehab will begin immediately and will progress throughout the offseason.” No timetable. Just that it “will progress.” Well, I’d hope so. Let’s see if he’s ready for spring training.

Murphy hit .322/.384/.543, hit 23 homers and knocked in 93 RBI. Assuming he’s ready for the 2018 season, he’ll ply his trade for a new manager.