Angels, Orioles in mix for Francisco Liriano

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A source told FOXSports.com’s Jon Morosi that the Angels and Orioles are continuing to pursue Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano in advance of next week’s trade deadline.

Liriano appears about as likely to be dealt as any pitcher in the league right now. Since his inconsistency won’t stop him from receiving significant bids in free agency, the Twins have little incentive for keeping him around. He’s never bought into their pitching philosophy anyway.

The 28-year-old Liriano is 3-10 with a 5.31 ERA this season, but he’s had enough strong outings lately to drum up some interested. He struck out 15 A’s on July 13 and 10 Orioles five days later. While he did give up seven runs in his last start against the White Sox, he still has a 3.68 ERA in 11 starts since May 30.

The Twins may prefer to see what happens with Zack Greinke before making a move, since Liriano could be viewed as a consolation prize for one of the losers in that race. The Angels, for instance, probably wouldn’t make their best offer for Liriano until they know Greinke is out of reach.

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.