For the third time in a month, the Mets have posted back-to-back shutouts in starts by R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana.
Santana got the Mets two-thirds of the way there tonight in the 5-0 win over the Orioles, following up Dickey’s one-hitter on Monday with six scoreless innings. Bobby Parnell, Miguel Batista and Jon Rauch combined to finish the shutout from there.
The Mets are first in the NL with eight shutouts, putting them one behind the Angels for the major league lead. No other team has more than six.
For Santana, it was his first good start since his no-hitter 18 days ago. He had allowed 10 runs in 10 innings since. The Orioles kept hitting flyballs against him tonight, but only Matt Wieters, with two doubles, did any damage. Santana allowed four hits, walked two and struck out five while throwing 101 pitches.
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.