The Dodgers got a little bit of everything on Friday afternoon in Surprise, in their 9-0 win over the Texas Rangers. Clayton Kershaw made his first start of the Cactus League, and pitched three scoreless innings against the regular lineup of the two-time defending American League champs.
"With the exception of Mike Napoli they had everyone in there. That's always good with one of the best, maybe the best lineup," Kershaw said after his outing, in which he allowed three singles and a walk in three innings, though he didn't strikeout a batter.
Kershaw said he was happy with his fastball command and was able to throw everything in his repertoire on Friday, though he called his changeup "terrible," and went to work on the pitch in the bullpen after his outing.
Though manager Don Mattingly was quick to point out that spring training isn't necessarily about results as it is about getting ready for the season, he was please with the outing from his ace on Friday, no matter the opponent.
"He's going to be good against everybody. If he throws the ball where he wants to, I don't care who they are, he's going to be a handful."
Then there was the matter of the offense, which produced for the Dodgers, to the tune of seven runs in the first four innings, when the regulars all played. Matt Kemp, who said Friday was his first day of feeling good at the plate all week, hit a towering home run to center field, his first of the spring, off Cody Eppley in the third ining.
Andre Ethier continue his torrid hitting with a triple and a single in his two at-bats, with the single coming off Martin Perez, the third hit of the spring off a left-hander for Ethier. Ethier has five hits in eight at-bats this spring, and has one extra-base hit in each of the four games he has played.
Jansen To Pitch Saturday Night
Kenley Jansen, who said earlier Friday that he would "definitely" pitch his scheduled outing on Saturday night against the White Sox at Camelback Ranch. Mattingly laughed at the definitiveness of his reliever.
"As long as Sue [Falsone, Dodgers trainer] says it's alright, Kenley's not going to be able to come in and tell us what he wants to do," Mattingly said. "We're going to go with the science."
Though Falsone did say Jansen would likely be okay to pitch, as he was cleared to resume all baseball activities after being examined by team internist Dr. James Monroe, who also consulted with a cardiologist.
- Alex Castellanos homered for the second straight day, and also played right field. Mattingly said Castellanos would play more second base than outfield this spring as the team determines the best position for the prospect, who was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals for Rafael Furcal last July 31.
- Josh FIelds had a triple in two at-bats, and is 5-for-7 so far this spring.
- The triple for Fields was a line drive off the face of right fielder Conor Jackson, who lost the ball in the sun. Jackson had to get x-rays and had five stitches just above his right eye.
- Dee Gordon had a single, walk, and stolen base
- Juan Rivera snapped an 0-for-9 skid with a fourth inning home run off Neil Ramirez
The Dodgers play two games on Saturday, beginning with a day game in Peoria against Seattle, and capped off by a night game at Camelback Ranch against the White Sox.
Nathan Eovaldi starts the road game for the Dodgers, and also scheduled to pitch are Ronald Belisario, Josh Wall, Matt Chico, Alberto Castillo, Jamey Wright, and Ramon Troncoso.
Chad Billingsley starts the nightcap, and will be followed on the mound by Josh Lindblom, Michael Antonini, Scott Elbert, Javy Guerra, and Jansen.
Home Runs: Matt Kemp (1), Juan Rivera (1), Alex Castellanos (2)
WP - Clayton Kershaw (1-0): 3 IP, 3 hits, 1 walk
LP - Martin Perez (0-1): 2 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs, 3 walks