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DODGERS FYI

Clayton Kershaw injured in practice

The pitcher will miss his next start after running into the embedded scoreboard in the right-field wall at Dodger Stadium and hurting his non-throwing shoulder.

September 08, 2009|Dylan Hernandez

PHOENIX — Manager Joe Torre has done everything he could to protect Clayton Kershaw.

He's monitored how many innings he's thrown. He's pulled him out of close games because he's reached his pitch count.

So much for that.

While shagging balls during batting practice on Sunday, Kershaw hit the scoreboard embedded in the right-field wall at Dodger Stadium and hurt his non-throwing shoulder.

The accident will force the 21-year-old left-hander to skip his turn in the rotation on Friday in San Francisco.

Torre laughed at the irony.

Kershaw didn't.

"Somebody hit a fly ball and I went to go catch it," he said. "I went to go catch it. I didn't know it was there, so I didn't brace for it."

Kershaw said he has some problems lifting his glove hand, but guessed that he shouldn't miss more than one start.

"Whenever I can tolerate the pain, I'll be good to go," he said.

The Dodgers are in position to absorb the blow because they have an off day on Thursday and have six starters, including Kershaw.

Randy Wolf will start on Friday on five days' rest.

Hiroki Kuroda, Vicente Padilla and Chad Billingsley are being considered to start on Saturday or Sunday.

"It's obviously disappointing," Kershaw said. "I wish it didn't happen. It's one of those freak things. I feel bad. I feel like I let the team down a little bit. It's really frustrating."

Pain is temporary, OBP is forever

Russell Martin had a baseball-sized welt on his back, a reminder of a fourth-inning drilling he took from Diamondbacks starter Max Scherzer.

Determining that Scherzer hit Martin on purpose, home plate umpire Doug Eddings warned both benches.

Martin exchanged some words with Scherzer but later said he didn't think he was hit intentionally.

"Looking at it, he pulled his head off a little bit and it got away from him," Martin said. "I don't think he did it on purpose."

This marked the second time in four days Martin was hit by a pitch. He has been plunked 10 times this season.

Andre Ethier has been hit a team-leading 11 times but has 87 more plate appearances than Martin.

"People don't like me," Martin said.

Martin said he hasn't considered charging the mound at any point.

"If I felt like he did it on purpose and he called me out, it might be a different story," he said.

Mired in a season-long slump, Martin has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 starts.

His second-inning single on Monday knocked in Ronnie Belliard. He also hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning that scored James Loney from third.

Dings and dents

Casey Blake sat out his third consecutive game because of tightness in his hamstring. His condition isn't improving, which could result in him missing a few more games.

"Bending over and fielding is an issue for him," Torre said.

Jim Thome felt something pop in his heel as he ran to first base on Sunday and wasn't available to pinch hit. Torre said that the sensation is considered normal for players who have had the kinds of foot problems that Thome has had.

Short hops

Dodgers pitchers have given up five runs or fewer in 27 consecutive games. Their collective earned-run average over that span is 2.60, the best in the majors. . . . With Ethier (92), Matt Kemp (88), Loney (78) and Blake (70), the Dodgers have four players with at least 70 runs batted in for the first time since 2002, when they had Shawn Green (114), Brian Jordan (80), Adrian Beltre (75) and Eric Karros (73).

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dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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