Dodgers Vs. Giants Game Preview: Clayton Kershaw Returns

After falling 7-2 in Friday’s opener, the Los Angeles Dodgers continue their series with the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park. Clayton Kershaw returns from the 10-day injured list to make his first start for L.A. since May 7.

Justin Bruihl was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City as the corresponding move. Also before the game, the Dodgers recalled Michael Grove and placed Walker Buehler on the 15-day IL with a right forearm strain.

As for Kershaw, the Dodgers initially planned to activate him off the IL on Sunday but moved the return date up in order to give Julio Urías extra rest before his start against the Giants.

Kershaw was sidelined the past month due to right SI joint inflammation, which is often referred to sacroiliitis and can cause discomfort in the buttocks or lower back, and extend down one or both legs.

Kershaw’s back pain did not respond to receiving an epidural and he instead needed to give the injury more time to recover through rest, which delayed a return.

After resuming throwing and completing two bullpen sessions, Kershaw joined Single-A Rancho Cucamonga for a rehab assignment. He threw 59 pitches over four innings, allowing a solo home run but also finishing with seven strikeouts against just one walk.

Prior to his IL stint, Kershaw went 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA, 2.27 FIP and 0.73 WHP over 30 innings pitched (five games). His return is all the more important in the wake of Walker Buehler prematurely being removed from Friday’s start due to right elbow discomfort.

Kershaw historically has pitched well in San Francisco, where he is a lifetime 14-5 with a 1.52 ERA over 26 games (24 starts). Kershaw’s 14 wins at AT&T Park/Oracle Park are his most in any visiting stadium.

The Giants counter with Sam Long, who presumably will serve as the opener. He enters with an 0-1 record, 2.35 ERA, 4.05 FIP and 1.04 WHIP in 15.1 innings pitched this season (11 games, three starts).

Long is in the midst of a six-inning scoreless streak that dates back to May 5. He allowed three runs on three hits in his only appearance against the Dodgers one day prior.

Dodgers lineup

RF: Mookie Betts
1B: Freddie Freeman
SS: Trea Turner
DH: Max Muncy
C: Will Smith
3B: Justin Turner
CF: Cody Bellinger
LF: Chris Taylor
2B: Gavin Lux

Giants lineup

CF: Austin Slater
1B: Darin Ruf
RF: Heliot Ramos
3B: Wilmer Flores
2B: Thairo Estrada
SS: Brandon Crawford
DH: Austin Wynns
C: Curt Casali
LF: Luis González

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