Derrek Lee pulled from Monday’s game with strained oblique

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The oblique epidemic has claimed yet another victim.

Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that Derrek Lee was pulled from Monday’s game against the Red Sox with a strained left oblique. He was replaced at first base by Jake Fox in the bottom of the third inning after going 1-for-2 with an RBI double.

Lee, who signed a one-year, $7.25 million contract over the winter, is batting just .231/.311/.346 with four home runs, 14 RBI and a .657 OPS over his first 177 plate appearances this season.

If Lee needs a trip to the disabled list, which is often the case with these type of injuries, it’s possible that the Orioles could put Luke Scott at first base in order to rest his right shoulder while giving Felix Pie regular duty in left field.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.