DENVER -- The Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday begin a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field and came here uncertain about the status of ace left-hander Clayton Kershaw.
He came off the disabled list Thursday night and started after missing 21 games because of left bicep tendinitis. Kershaw pitched five innings and 62 pitches in a 2-1 loss at Dodger Stadium to the Philadelphia Phillies, but was taken out because his back tightened up, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the game.
Kershaw, who was on the disabled list for extended periods in 2016 and 2017 with lower back issues, did not travel to Denver with the team but stayed back in Los Angeles and will undergo an MRI exam. His fastball velocity was 88-90 mph against the Phillies at the outset but dipped to 86-88 mph in the fourth and fifth innings.
"The stuff started to back up, the fastball and slider and the curve," Roberts said. "Everything sort of ticked down a little for me. His back tightened up during that outing. That could've contributed to the lack of velocity."
Roberts said Kershaw, who allowed four hits, one walk and one run with five strikeouts and detests being removed from a start, did not lobby to stay in the game. Before the loss to the Phillies, the Dodgers announced that left-hander Alex Wood would be pushed back two days and start Sunday in the series finale against the Rockies. He has dealt with cramps in his left leg.
Roberts said Friday would be a bullpen game. The Dodgers haven't named their Friday starter, but Dennis Santana, who was recalled Wednesday from Triple-A Oklahoma City and is stretched out, is expected to pitch at some point Friday and make his major league debut. Santana threw 90 pitches in five innings in his last start May 24.
The Dodgers (25-30) are beginning a six-game road trip that will also take them to Pittsburgh and have a 12-13 record on the road.
The Rockies will try to win their third straight series at Coors Field as they wrap up their second-longest homestand of the season with three games against the Dodgers. The Rockies, who have a 10-game homestand in September, took two of three games from the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants on the current homestand.
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