Los Angeles Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw will take to the mound with a heavy heart, pitching three days after the death of his mother, Marianne Tombaugh.
Kershaw chose to stay with the club following the death of his mother and is expected to be on the mourners list following his home outing against the Minnesota Twins.
“Once he makes his debut, I’m sure there will be things he’ll be involved in, if that’s what they choose,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Kershaw (6-2, 2.36 ERA) is tied for the National League lead in wins. He has 56 strikeouts and 10 walks in 49 2/3 innings this season and enters the outing after a win at Milwaukee in which he gave up one run on five hits in seven innings, a season high. .
The start was a welcome sight after Kershaw gave up a season-high five walks in a May 5 loss to the San Diego Padres.
“I think there aren’t many more words you can really say about a first-round Hall of Famer,” Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman said of Kershaw. “When you need someone like that to step in, and he does every time, it’s just a treat to watch. Being a baseball fan, being able to watch that every five days, it’s special.”
In Kershaw’s only career start against the Twins, he pitched seven perfect innings and struck out 13 on his 2022 debut. However, he was retired at that time as a precaution after missing a big part of the 2021 season due to forearm inflammation.
The Dodgers cruised to a wild 9-8, 12 innings win over the Twins behind two homers from Max Muncy, another from Will Smith and a base-laden late-game walk from Trayce Thompson. Muncy has four games at multiple home runs this season.
Los Angeles will be looking for its season-best seventh straight win and 11th straight win at home.
The Twins will send right-hander Bailey Ober to the mound in an effort to stop the Dodgers’ run. Ober (2-0, 1.85), who started the season at Triple-A Saint Paul, was solid against the Padres, allowing three runs in six innings and throwing a league-high 96 pitches. season.
As Minnesota rallied for a 5-3 victory in that game, it was the first time in four major league starts this season that Ober allowed more than one run.
“Towards the end of an outing, guys kind of have to get to a place to keep throwing. They don’t feel like the outing has just started,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “Bailey, he did a phenomenal job and kept us in the game, again.”
Ober has not faced the Dodgers in his three major league seasons.
Despite the loss, the Twins are in familiar territory. They won back-to-back series against the Padres and Chicago Cubs, but only after losing the first game of each set. These series were at home, however. Minnesota will look to repeat the feat on the road, where it is 9-11.
Christian Vazquez and Jorge Polanco each had three hits for the Twins. Polanco hit a solo home run and Trevor Larnach hit a three-run shot that tied the game 6-6 in the eighth inning.
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