AROUND THE HORN Dodgers:
Dodgers lefthander Clayton Kershaw left his start in San Francisco with an apparent injury. Kershaw appeared to tweak something while he was warming up before the fifth Thursday. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner winced and pointed to his dugout, and then walked off the field gingerly with a trainer. The 34-year-old Kershaw made 66 pitches through four innings, allowing one earned run and three hits with four strikeouts. He left with a 4-2 lead. Kershaw spent time on the IL earlier this season due to inflammation in a pelvic joint.
Brewers: The Brewers insist they’re not suffering from sort of a Josh Hader hangover. Sure looks like it though. Bryan Reynolds raced home on a wild pitch with one out in the 10th inning, lifting the Pirates to a 5-4 victory on Thursday to complete a three-game sweep of the Brewers. Reynolds led off the bottom of the 10th by tying the game with a ground-rule double to right field that scored rookie Tucupita Maracano. Reynolds advanced to third on a fly ball to right by Ke’Bryan Hayes and scored when a 0-2 curveball by Brewers reliever Matt Bush (2-2) skipped by catcher Victor Caratini. The Brewers fell to 0-3 since trading Hader, their four-time All-Star closer, to the Padres on Monday, failing to hold on to multiple-run leads in all three games.
Phillies: The Phillies released veteran shortstop Didi Gregorius on Thursday as part of a flurry of moves. The Phillies also activated infielder Jean Segura from the 60-day injured list and right-hander Kyle Gibson from the bereavement list. Right-hander Noah Syndergaard and center fielder Brandon Marsh reported to the team after they were acquired in a pair of trades on Tuesday. The 32-year-old Gregorius is batting .210 with a homer and 19 RBIs in 63 games this season. He agreed to a $14 million, one-year contract with the Phillies in December 2019, and then hit .284 with 10 homers and 40 RBIs in his first season with the team. He agreed to a $28 million, two-year deal with the Phillies in January 2021.
Cardinals, Cubs: Major League Baseball plans to return to London next year for the first time since 2019. The league announced Thursday that the Cardinals and Cubs will play a two-game series on June 24-25, 2023, at London Stadium. The NL Central rivals were supposed to play in London in 2020, but the games were canceled because of the coronavirus.
Blue Jays: Whit Merrifield said Thursday he is vaccinated for COVID19 and will be cleared to play for the Blue Jays when they return to Canada. Merrifield was acquired in a trade with the Royals on Tuesday for two minor leaguers. The two-time All-Star was in the starting lineup in center field for his first game with his new team Thursday night at Minnesota. Merrifield was among 10 players on the Royals who were unvaccinated last month, preventing them from making their trip to Toronto. When asked about his decision, Merrifield drew the ire of fans by saying: “Something happens and I happen to get on a team that has a chance to go play in Canada in the postseason, maybe that changes.”