Clayton Kershaw pitched four innings in a minor league rehab start for Low-A Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday, getting one step closer to a return to the Dodgers rotation.
Kershaw allowed a home run in his rehab start, plus a double off the wall, and another long drive that was tracked down by centerfielder Jake Vogel. That was really the only price for throwing strikes, 44 of them in Kershaw’s 59 pitches.
The only question Sunday was whether Kershaw would last three or four innings. He struck out seven and walked run, allowing just the one run on a solo homer.
Kershaw’s last pitch and a nice ovation from the Rancho crowd. What a day!!! #Dodgers— Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (@RCQuakes) June 5, 2022
59 total pitches and four innings for the future HOFer. 6 Ks, 1 run on three hits. @lindskogmike pic.twitter.com/6mdKxZbeb1
Sunday was the eighth career minor league rehab assignment for Kershaw, and his third time pitching for Rancho Cucamonga. He also pitched games for the Quakes in 2014 and 2016.
When Kershaw was last in Low-A, he was 19 years old in 2007 with Great Lakes, a team that is now the club’s High-A team. Kershaw made 20 starts for the Loons that year before making the jump directly to Double-A. He made his major league debut the next season.
Kershaw has been on the shelf for three weeks with inflammation in his right SI joint, and last pitched in the majors on May 7. His next outing is to be determined, but might very well be with the Dodgers next weekend against the Giants.
Dave Roberts said he’s “hopeful” Clayton Kershaw will not need a second rehab start after today’s game in Rancho Cucamonga. The earliest he’d pitch again for the Dodgers is Sunday in San Francisco.— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) June 5, 2022
Clayton Kershaw’s next outing will be with the Dodgers, Dave Roberts said.— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) June 6, 2022
Asked after his outing if he was going to make another rehab assignment, Kershaw told reporters on site, “I hope not.”
Kershaw in five starts this season has a 1.80 ERA and 2.56 xERA, with 32 strikeouts against only three walks in his 30 innings.