PHOENIX -- Clayton Kershaw continued his march toward opening day with five solid innings on Saturday against the White Sox, continuing to build up toward his opening day start on April 4 in San Diego.
The Dodgers ace pitcher allowed a pair of runs on six hits in his five innings of work, his second straight start lasting five frames. Kershaw struck out four and walked none, giving him 14 strikeouts and only three walks in 15 Cactus League innings, to go with a 1.80 ERA.
Kershaw left the game in a 2-2 tie thanks to Chris Sale, who pitched into the sixth inning in his first major league game of the spring.
"Anytime the pitchers start going deeper into the game, and pitching against Sale — he looked pretty sharp for his first time facing another team in a big league game — it feels good and feels a little more like baseball. You just know you're getting closer," Kershaw said after the game, while holding his infant daughter Cali on Family Day at the Dodgers facilities at Camelback Ranch.
Alex Guerrero homered against Sale in the fourth inning to tie the score, his second home run of the spring.
Howie Kendrick, who homered on Friday, doubled and tripled in three at-bats on Saturday, looking further and further removed from the sore right groin that cost him nine days' worth of games.
"We were really cautious with Howie, with the groin area, but the way he's been moving around the last week and a half has raised our comfort level. Now he's swinging the bat well," manager Dave Roberts said, then added with a smile, "I guess we can look at him as a regular player."
Saturday was Kendrick's first game action this spring at third base, where he played five innings. Roberts said he would continue to mix in Kendrick and Chase Utley in between Justin Turner starts at the hot corner just to get them more familiar with third base this spring.
"I'm trying to raise their comfort level at third," Roberts said. "The more repetitions over there, the better."
The Dodgers have a split squad on Sunday, with two games at the same 1:05 p.m. PT start time. At Camelback Ranch, Mike Bolsinger will start against the Padres, while in Maryvale, Scott Kazmir gets the call against the Brewers. Roberts will manage the club at home, while bench coach Bob Geren will lead the away squad against Milwaukee.
Radio note: The home game against the Padres on Sunday, as well as next Sunday's (March 27) game against the Reds will be broadcast on radio in Los Angeles on 1150 AM instead of the flagship station 570 AM. Adjust your plans accordingly.