Chris Davis swings, throws for first time since hitting disabled list with strained left oblique

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From MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli comes word that Orioles first baseman Chris Davis took 25 practice swings and made 30 throws on Tuesday afternoon at Tropicana Field — the first time he had done either activity since being placed on the 15-day disabled list at the end of April with a strained left oblique.

Davis is eligible to be activated Sunday (May 11).

He won’t be returning on that exact date because the Orioles want him to spend two or three days on a minor league rehab assignment, but the middle of next week seems like a pretty reasonable target.

Davis was off to a slow start this season, batting .250 with a .754 OPS, two home runs, and 13 RBI in 22 games.

The 28-year-old hit .286 with a 1.004 OPS, 53 homers, and 138 RBI in 160 games last season.

Battle of the Aces: Max Scherzer takes on Clayton Kershaw tonight

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I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.

Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.

This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.

Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.