Jesus Montero exits game after being hit in the helmet by a pitch

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The Mariners were given quite the scare earlier this afternoon when Jesus Montero was hit in the helmet by a pitch from Rockies’ right-hander Edgmer Escalona. Yes, the Rockies. Plenty of drama for them in the 24 hours for them, huh?

Montero immediately fell to the ground, but quickly got to his feet and began jawing with Escalona before being restrained by Mariners’ manager Eric Wedge and team trainer Rick Griffin. The good news is that Montero told Larry Stone of the Seattle Times that he feels fine and could play again as soon as tomorrow. It’s not clear whether the Mariners plan to send him for any tests as a precaution.

Montero went 1-for-7 last week against the A’s in the Opening Series in Japan. The 22-year-old is expected to split his time between the DH spot and catcher this season.

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.