Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw likely sidelined until September

Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is unlikely to return to the mound until September as he continues to deal with lingering soreness in his left elbow.

The Los Angeles left-hander has been on the injured list since July 7. He said before Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels that he was too aggressive in trying to return.

The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw a three-inning, 45-pitch simulated game at San Francisco on July 27, but didn’t bounce back as well as hoped.

“I was probably a little too impatient with my rehab. And that’s all me,” Kershaw said. “This time it’s a little different because we’re up against a calendar. We’re going to rest as long as we can to give myself a good chance to pitch in meaningful games in September and be ready to go in October.”

Manager Dave Roberts said MRI scans on Kershaw’s elbow haven’t revealed anything more serious and that it is a matter of waiting for the soreness to dissipate before Kershaw can resume throwing.

“It’s no fun. Being hurt is miserable. I really don’t enjoy it at all, especially with what’s going on here,” said Kershaw, who is 9-7 with a 3.39 ERA. “With the guys that we have coming in and the stretch run right now, I want to be a part of it so bad.”

The Dodgers (65-44) entered Friday four games behind the Giants in the NL West but leading the wild card race. Max Scherzer, who was acquired in last week’s blockbuster trade with the Washington Nationals, struck out 10 in his Dodgers debut on Wednesday against Houston while Walker Buehler is putting up numbers worthy of Cy Young consideration.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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Thomas Skrlj/Getty Images
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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.