Matt Kemp gets first start in left field since 2006

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Carl Crawford suffered an ugly left ankle sprain Tuesday while chasing after a ball, so the Dodgers are rolling with Matt Kemp in left field in their series finale Wednesday night against the visiting Reds.

Kemp, who had been on the bench for five straight games, last played left field as a rookie in 2006.

“It’s a little different, but I’m just excited to be able to get back out there,” Kemp told Eric Stephen of SB Nation’s True Blue LA on Wednesday evening. “I think I’m still a pretty good athlete. I think I’ll be OK.”

Kemp has struggled defensively in his return from ankle surgery, which is why the Dodgers have been featuring Andre Ethier as their regular center fielder.

Kemp, 29, is batting .262/.325/.450 with five home runs and five stolen bases in 43 games this season.

Orioles “have begun fielding calls of interest” on Manny Machado

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports Thursday that the Orioles “are said to have begun fielding calls of interest” on superstar Manny Machado and “are close to the point of seriously weighing whether to trade him.”

You’d think it would be a no-brainer for the last-place O’s to flip Machado — an impending free agent — for prospects, but Heyman notes there is “still a question whether or not longtime Orioles owner Peter Angelos” will give the go-ahead. One person familiar with the situation put it a “50-50” likelihood. Another suggested that it would take a massive return, which, sure.

Machado entered play Thursday with a sensational .328/.405/.635 batting line, 15 home runs, and an MLB-leading 43 RBI in 49 games. It’d be a real shock if he’s still wearing an O’s uniform by the end of July.

Heyman reported previously that at least nine teams made aggressive plays for Machado this winter, including the Cubs, Phillies, Dodgers, Indians, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox, and Cardinals. A whole lot of those teams still make sense here in late May — maybe all of them except the White Sox.