Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Has Mixed Feelings On ‘Building Block’ In Return

The Los Angeles Dodgers welcomed Clayton Kershaw back from the 10-day injured list on Saturday but lost a second consecutive game to the San Francisco Giants, largely due to an inability to cash in on countless situations with runners on base.

With Kershaw on the mound in a Major League game for the first time since May 7, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the left-hander was on a limit of roughly 70 pitches. Kershaw wound up throwing 71 pitches over four innings, exiting with the Dodgers trailing 2-0.

Their deficit could have been worse if not for Kershaw stranding a pair of runners in the fourth inning.

He was disappointed in the Dodgers suffering a 3-2 loss but found some reason for optimism on a personal level, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

“I mean other than losing, yeah, which is no fun no matter what building block you want,” Kershaw said when asked if Saturday represented a good first step in his return. “But overall, I feel good about it for the most part and will be ready to go for the next one.”

The Giants scored both of their runs off Kershaw in the second inning. Thairo Estrada broke up the scoreless tie with a solo home run and Luis González lined an RBI single into center field. Allowing the second run was what resonated with Kershaw:

“The one that stings is the two-strike single to González there to get that second run,” Kershaw said. “Estrada put a good at-bat together to hit that homer. But two strikes — I really wish I could have gotten out of there with one run. Wish I could have gone five (innings). But other than that, the first game back feels good.”

The loss was Kershaw’s first this season and he now holds a 2.12 ERA after getting it below two with seven scoreless innings against the Chicago Cubs his last time out.

Dodgers prioritized routine with Kershaw

After Kershaw made a rehab start for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga last Sunday, he was penciled in to return and start the series finale against the Giants. However, the Dodgers elected to bump up Kershaw to keep him on a normal schedule and provide Julio Urías with an extra day of rest.

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