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WASHINGTON -- After Clayton Kershaw's short start on Thursday forced the bullpen to throw 5 2/3 innings, the Dodgers optioned him to Triple-A Las Vegas and called up Double-A pitcher Scott Elbert to provide bullpen depth.
The move was not a direct result of Kershaw's performance -- it was intended to support the tired Los Angeles 'pen.
Kershaw will still be on track to make his next scheduled start on Tuesday against the Padres. Because Las Vegas' schedule ends on Monday, the Dodgers will not have to wait the typically required 10 days before calling him back up in time to make that start.
Elbert will be making his Major League debut after going 4-1 with a 2.40 ERA for Double-A Jacksonville.
Elbert, the Dodgers' first-round pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, missed almost all of 2007 and the beginning of 2008 while recovering from shoulder surgery.
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