Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Strikes Out 8 In Rehab Start With Oklahoma City
Nate Billings-The Oklahoman

Clayton Kershaw successfully checked off the final box to his return with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Making his first career start at the Triple-A level, Kershaw allowed one run on two hits over five innings of work.

Saddled with the loss, he run came on Jorge Soler’s solo homer in the second inning. “It was good to get back out there,” Kershaw said. “Fun to pitch, it had been a long time. Everything felt healthy, good to go. I’m excited for the next one.”

The next time Kershaw takes the mound will come in the series opener with the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Beginning Friday, the Dodgers will play four games in three days. If Kershaw had his way, he would not still be on the disabled list.

“I feel like I’ve always been ready. This was just part of the process,” Kershaw said. “I’m glad I got this one under my belt, and I’m ready to get back up there.”

The left-handed ace threw 64 pitches, 43 for strike, over his five innings of work. He’d previously stretched out to four innings in a simulated game at PNC Park last week. That was originally scheduled to only be three innings.

With Kershaw expected to return this weekend, he will have missed just shy of six weeks due to the back strain. A mild herniated disc sidelined him 10 weeks last season, though the recovery process also included a setback.

On top of this year’s injury not being as serious, the Dodgers and Kershaw were more cautious and methodical with their approach. Ultimately, he should be able to fulfill the goal of making a handful of starts in preparation for the playoffs.

While Kershaw was generally pleased with the results from his rehab outing, which came in front of a sold-out crowd at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, he isn’t keen on a repeat.

“This was a good experience,” Kershaw said. “I hope I don’t ever do it again, but it was fun.”