Matt Kemp, Mark Ellis Getting Closer To Return

Both Mark Ellis and Matt Kemp are getting closer to returning to the Dodgers.

Before the Dodgers open their three-game weekend series against the Angels in Anaheim, a quintet of injured players made progress toward returning.

Both Matt Kemp (left hamstring strain, out since May 31) and Mark Ellis (left leg surgery, out since May 19) have taken batting practice with the team for roughly a week, and have progressed to full baserunning drills with the team. While there is no set timetable for their return, the two are getting closer to playing minor league rehab games.

"Usually when guys are progressing to this stage, when they're starting to run the curves, and they're starting, stopping, accelerating, decelerating and all that, they are getting closer to going somewhere and playing," said manager Don Mattingly.

Relief pitcher Blake Hawksworth, who has been sidelined since undergoing a pair of elbow surgeries in January, will start for the Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes tonight at home against Bakersfield. That will begin a rehabilitation assignment that gives the Dodgers up to 30 days to decide what to do with Hawksworth, who is out of options.

Hawksworth's rehab schedule will depend on how his arm feels during the process, but the Dodgers would like to see him pitch on back-to-back days as well as multiple-inning stints while on rehab assignment.

"We'll kind of see where it goes," Mattingly said. "We know it's a little bit of a process getting him built up."

Friday also saw a pair of firsts for a pair of pitchers, as Ted Lilly (inflamed left shoulder) played catch, throwing for the first time since May 23, and Javy Guerra threw a light bullpen session, his first time off a mound since June 3.

Starting Lineups

SS Gordon (L)
CF Trout
2B Hairston
RF Hunter
RF Ethier (L)
1B Pujols
DH Abreu (L) DH Morales (S)
LF Rivera
LF Trumbo
1B Loney (L)
3B Callaspo (S)
3B Kennedy (L)
2B Kendrick
C Ellis SS Aybar (S)
CF Gwynn (L) C Wilson

P Billingsley P Haren

Game Time: 7:05 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket, Fox Sports West

MLB Gameday

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