Clayton Kershaw
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Clayton Kershaw to start World Series Game 5

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While the Red Sox and Dodgers await the results of World Series Game 4 this evening, left-hander Clayton Kershaw has already been penciled in to start Game 5 of the series on Sunday night.

Kershaw made a brief appearance during Game 3 on Friday, albeit not on the mound. The Los Angeles ace was inserted as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 17th inning and saw four pitches from Boston’s Nathan Eovaldi before lining out to right field. He hasn’t pitched a proper postseason game since Game 1 of the World Series, however, when he tossed four innings of five-run, five-strikeout ball in an 8-4 loss to the Red Sox.

While Kershaw’s lone World Series outing was also his worst this postseason, he’s proven more than capable of replicating the kind of All-Star results the Dodgers have come to expect from him during the regular season. He hurled eight shutout innings in a dominant Game 2 performance during the NLDS and put away the Brewers with seven frames of one-run ball in Game 5 of the NLCS. With the Dodgers looking to gain the upper hand in the World Series this weekend, it remains to be seen whether he can deliver similar results once again.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, announced their decision to send left-hander Eduardo Rodríguez to the mound for a Game 4 start. Who they go to for Game 5 will largely depend on how much of a role the bullpen plays on Saturday, with starter Drew Pomeranz expected to pick up a few innings after Rodríguez finishes his outing. The way things currently stand, Chris Sale seems like a natural choice for Sunday’s matchup as he did not appear during Game 3’s 18-inning marathon and will be approaching his next start on at least four days of rest.

Rays place Austin Meadows on 10-day injured list with thumb sprain

Austin Meadows
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Rays outfielder Austin Meadows has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a right thumb sprain, per a team announcement Sunday. No concrete timetable has been given for his return to the lineup just yet, but he’s scheduled to meet with a hand specialist on Sunday as the Rays try to determine the extent of his injury.

Meadows, 23, suffered the sprain in the seventh inning of Saturday’s 6-5 loss to the Red Sox. He lined a two-run triple into the right-center field gap — one of a franchise-record four triples that the Rays recorded in the game — but slid awkwardly into third base and jammed his right thumb in the process. He didn’t appear to be in obvious pain following the hit, however, nor was he removed from the game at the time.

Prior to the setback, Meadows carried a hefty .351/.422/.676 batting line with six homers, 19 RBI, and a 1.097 OPS through his first 83 plate appearances of 2019. He was replaced by Guillermo Heredia in right field for Sunday’s series finale and will likely lose a few starts to Avisaíl García as well.

In a series of corresponding moves, right-handed reliever Jake Faria was optioned to Triple-A Durham, infielder/outfielder Andrew Velazquez and righty reliever Emilio Pagán were recalled from Triple-A, and reliever Hunter Wood was placed on the paternity list. Second baseman Joey Wendle was also reinstated from the 10-day injured list after rehabbing a left hamstring strain and is scheduled take over the keystone during the Rays’ matinee against the Red Sox on Sunday.