Adam Dunn’s back-to-back two-hit games a first for 2011

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Lance Berkman, Adrian Gonzalez, Vladimir Guerrero and David Wright have all done it seven games in a row.  Kyle Blanks, Brett Wallace and Mike Moustakas are some of the lesser lights to do it at least five games in a row.  Now Adam Dunn has at least done it twice in a row.  With two doubles in Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to the Indians, he’s posted back-to-back multihit games for the first time this season.

Dunn, who started just two games in a 19-day span beinning in late August, was given one final chance by manager Ozzie Guillen on Saturday.  He went 0-for-4 that day and 1-for-4 the next, but he finished 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI on Monday and 2-for-4 with another RBI today.

It’s raised his average to .168, the highest he’s finished a day since he was at .171 back on July 4.

The obvious hope is that Dunn can build a little confidence to take with him into next season.  The White Sox are on the hook for $14 million in 2012 and $15 million each of the following two years, so there will be no giving up on him anytime soon.

Of course, there’s really nothing Dunn can do from here to make his numbers look anything other than atrocious.  He’s currently 66-for-393 with nine games remaining.  The best-case scenario: if he could hit .333 in 30 at-bats the rest of the way, that would get him up to a .180 average for the season.

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.