Pablo Sandoval out of tonight’s lineup with left shoulder strain

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The hits keep on coming for the Giants.

Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports that Pablo Sandoval is out of tonight’s lineup against the Astros due to a left shoulder strain.

Sandoval suffered the injury while swinging right-handed last night against the Braves. While he offered to bat from the left side tonight against southpaw Wandy Rodriguez, Bruce Bochy thinks he’ll be ready to go tomorrow, when rookie right-hander Jordan Lyles is on the hill for the Astros.

Sandoval is the headline here for obvious reasons, but he’s not the only absence tonight. Orlando Cabrera strained his groin last night, so Miguel Tejada will make the start at shortstop.

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.