Clayton Kershaw to pitch a simulated game tomorrow

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, out with a bad back since June 27, will face live hitters on Saturday.

The simulated game will take place at Dodger Stadium. Manager Dave Roberts said it’s unlikely Kershaw will need a rehab assignment, so if the simulated game goes well, he could be back in the Dodgers’ rotation as early as next week.

The Dodgers are six and a half games back of the Giants in the NL West as they start out the second half on a lengthy road trip. They do, however, have one of the easier second half schedules in baseball, so between that and the hopeful return of their big gun in the rotation, they have reason to believe that they’re not out of the hunt yet.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”