Settling the Score: Friday’s results

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The Mariners actually beat the Athletics 7-3 last night, but all everyone can talk about this morning is Yoenis Cespedes, who nearly hit one to San Jose.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Cespedes turned on an 83 mph changeup from Mariners’ starter Jason Vargas for a massive blast to left-center which traveled 462 feet. You can watch it here. It’s the longest home run in the majors so far this year and the excellent Hit Tracker Online says only 21 traveled further last season.

Cespedes showcased his 80-grade pimp tool while admiring his handy work and probably would have watched it for longer if he didn’t finally realize that Vargas was staring a hole through him. The picture to your right illustrates that the southpaw probably wasn’t too thrilled. Anyway, it’s clear that Cespedes can do some serious damage against cookies and mistake pitches, so it will be interesting to see how he adjusts when pitchers get the book on him. Fun to watch for now, though.

Your Friday box scores:

White Sox 2, Rangers 3

Cardinals 11, Brewers 5

Twins 2, Orioles 4

Rockies 5, Astros 3

Yankees 6, Rays 7

Giants 4, Diamondbacks 5

Royals 0, Angels 5

Dodgers 6, Padres 0

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.