Yovani Gallardo leaves start with left oblique injury

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Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo was lifted prematurely from Sunday’s game against the Cardinals with a left oblique injury.

Gallardo was named to his first All-Star game just hours before taking the mound in St. Louis and might have to bow out of the Midsummer Classic if the injury proves the least bit serious.  He will be evaluated by team physician Dr. William Raasch on Monday in Milwaukee before any kind of decision is made.

Gallardo, 24, is 8-4 this season with a 2.58 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP over his first 18 starts.  He has fanned 122 batters in 111.2 innings.  Needless to say, the Brewers’ already-shaky rotation will be in major trouble if he is forced to spend a few weeks on the disabled list.

At 37-45, Milwaukee is 9.5 games behind Cincinnati in the National League Central.

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.