Alex Gordon takes live batting practice for the first time since suffering groin injury in early July

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Royals left fielder Alex Gordon made a significant stride Saturday in his recovery from a Grade 2 left groin strain, taking live batting practice on the field at Kauffman Stadium. It was his first live BP session since he landed on the disabled list on July 8.

“I still have a while,” Gordon told the Kansas City Star when asked about a timetable for his return to the Royals’ active roster. “There’s still a lot of things that I have to accomplish before I go out there. And with the team having the big lead like we have in the [AL Central standings], there’s no reason to rush it.”

Jarrod Dyson and trade deadline acquisition Ben Zobrist have been handling left field in Gordon’s absence.

Kansas City has the biggest division lead of any team at 10 1/2 games.

Clayton Kershaw to make Opening Day start for Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw Opening Day
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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed it in March and he confirmed it again on Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw will start on Opening Day, Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reports.

The Dodgers are one of four teams that will open the 60-game regular season schedule on July 23; everyone else begins play on the 24th. With a 10 PM ET start, the Dodgers will host the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

Johnny Cueto will likely pitch opposite Kershaw for the Giants. Cueto was named the Giants’ Opening Day starter on March 11, before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t yet officially named an Opening Day starter for the makeshift season.

Kershaw, 32, made the Opening Day start eight consecutive times for the Dodgers from 2011-18. Hyun-Jin Ryu, now a Blue Jay, pitched on Opening Day last season for the Dodgers. Last year, Kershaw logged 178 1/3 innings over 28 starts and one relief appearance, his highest innings total since 2015. He went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks.