VIDEO: Edwin Encarnacion hits his 20th home run

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Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion didn’t hit a home run last week, but he resumed punishing major league pitchers tonight when he connected for a three-run shot against Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco in the bottom of the first inning. Check out the blast below:

Encarnacion is now up to 20 home runs on the season. He’s already more than halfway to his total of 36 from last year. He hit his career-high of 42 in 2012.

Encarnacion is the second player in MLB to reach 20 homers this season. Baltimore’s Nelson Cruz currently leads the majors with 21 home runs.

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.