LOS ANGELES — The only question after Clayton Kershaw’s start on Thursday, his first after missing six weeks with shoulder soreness, was how he felt the day after.
“I talked with our trainer Thomas Albert, and he says [Kershaw] has normal soreness, and he’s in good spirits,” manager Dave Roberts said Friday. “My thought is he came out of it great.”
Kershaw allowed one run in his five innings against the Rockies on Thursday, in his first start since June 27. He threw 67 pitches, but lasting the five innings was most important to Kershaw on Thursday after topping out at four innings during simulated games.
“The pitch count isn’t as important as sitting down and going back out the for the inning,” Kerhsaw said Thursday. “Getting through five is good, and hopefully the leash keeps getting longer as we go, and get back to normal.”
Max Muncy didn’t start on Friday against Rockies left-hander Austin Gomber, a regular day of rest for Muncy, who was hit by a pitch on his left wrist on August 3 against Oakland, and missed the first three days in San Diego. He started the Dodgers last four games before sitting Friday.
“He’s getting better. It hasn’t bothered his swing. It’s more of the backhand play,” Roberts said. “I’m just going to give him a day, and he’ll be back in there tomorrow.”
Muncy has only played third base once in his four games since returning to the lineup, serving as the designated hitter in the other three games, including Thursday night, when he homered and drew a bases-loaded walk, driving in the Dodgers’ only two runs of the game.
“Just trying to stay healthy. I think it’s what we’re all trying to do in this clubhouse,” Muncy said Thursday. “It doesn’t always work out the way you want it to, but you try your best and go out there and try to have an impact on the game.”
J.D. Martinez was also out of the Dodgers’ lineup on Friday, and he won’t start on Saturday either, as he works through tightness near his groin and hamstring, for which he received an epidural injection earlier this week.
The plan was for Martinez to hit in the batting cage on Friday, then take batting practice on the field Saturday, in hopes of being available on Sunday, Roberts said.
But given that Monday is an off day, and the Dodgers are mindful of Martinez’s availability during day games, it’s only a matter of time until Martinez likely won’t return until Tuesday.
Friday was Martinez’s fifth game missed in a row, and through Saturday will have started only two of the Dodgers’ previous 13 games.