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Dodgers sending ace Kershaw home for tests on sore back

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MILWAUKEE — Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is returning to Los Angeles for tests on a sore back that’s been bothering him for a few weeks.

Manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday that he was still hopeful Kershaw could make his next scheduled start Friday night at Dodger Stadium against Colorado.

The three-time NL Cy Young winner is 11-2 with a 1.79 ERA this season. He lost his last start on Sunday in Pittsburgh, giving up four runs and nine hits in six innings.

Roberts said Kershaw has been dealing on and off with a problem in his lower back.

“He’s not any better, so what we’re going to do, we decided to fly him back,” Roberts said. “Try to get him on a flight tonight or tomorrow first thing in the morning. He’s not pitching here in Milwaukee, so as we looked at his Friday start, to give him a couple days back home makes sense.”

Kershaw has been on the disabled list only once in his nine-year career, in early 2014 with a shoulder strain.

“He’s going to consult with the docs when he gets back to LA and we’ll see where we go from there,” Roberts said before Tuesday night’s game at Miller Park.

Roberts said he did not know if any examination would include an MRI or CT scan.

“I think that it’s to get him in the doctors’ hands, then they’ll go from there,” Roberts said. “I think that they’re going to do whatever they can to figure out what the problem is.”

“It’s been a few weeks where it’s been in and out and he’s so good, it kind of started barking a little bit, so I think that right now we just want to kind of get some answers,” he said.

Roberts said it was not a hip problem, which Kershaw dealt with last season.

“It’s no hip. I know it’s the back, to the extent of that, I know it’s barking and I just want to see what we’ve got,” he said.

Kershaw did not specifically ask to return to Los Angeles, Roberts said.

“I think it was just more of the training staff and him conferring and having discussions and feeling this was the best thing for Clayton,” he said.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”