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:

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.