Matt Kemp aggravates hammy, Andre Ethier gets ejected

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The Dodgers’ big guns left it to Bobby Abreu and A.J. Ellis to do the damage in an 11-5 win over the Rockies on Sunday.

Matt Kemp left prior to the fourth inning after tweaking his sore left hamstring, and Andre Ethier was ejected in the fifth inning for arguing a called strike three.

Kemp grounded out to end the bottom of the third inning and was seen talking to the trainer before being replaced by Bobby Abreu to start the fourth, with Tony Gwynn Jr. moving from left field to center. Kemp was starting a sixth straight game today after being held out of the lineup last Sunday with the hamstring injury.

Ethier and manager Don Mattingly were both tossed in the fifth inning. He was okay after initially arguing the called strike three for the second out of the frame, but after starting to go to the dugout, he decided he had a few more things to say, earning him the thumb. Mattingly was tossed after arguing on Ethier’s behalf.

Scott Van Slyke replaced Ethier in right field with the Dodgers up 8-4 after five.

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.