Clayton Kershaw struck out four without allowing a hit in his spring training debut Friday, the first step toward a possible opening-day start for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Kershaw faced a Milwaukee Brewers lineup with five expected regulars, including Brock Holt and Keston Hiura at the top of the order. He struck out both on three pitches in the first. After two walks and a strikeout of his final batter, Kershaw left with a 1-0 lead after 1 2/3 innings.
“It was awesome. Maybe I didn’t hit one spot, but physically I felt like the ball was coming out, felt like it was breaking the right say,” Kershaw said. “Now just got to figure out how to throw strikes, but other than that, it was a good first step for sure.”
Kershaw, a left-hander who turns 32 on March 19, went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA last season. He pitched 178 1/3 innings, his highest total since 2015.
He missed the start of the season due to shoulder soreness that caused him to be shut down for most of spring training. His streak of eight straight opening day starts came to an end.
RAYS 8, NATIONALS 1
World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg, who re-signed with Washington for a $245 million, seven-year deal, gave up three runs, three hits and a walk over 1 1/3 innings in his first start. He struck out three. Yandy Díaz had an RBI single and Brian O’Grady hit a two-run double and a solo home run for Tampa Bay. Ryan Yarbrough allowed an unearned tun and two hits in two innings while striking out four.
PHILLIES 6, BRAVES (SS) 5
Bryce Harper played his second game and hit a three-run double for his first hit. Jean Segura drove in Harper with a single and Phil Gosselin added a bases-loaded walk in a five-run fifth inning. Aaron Nola gave up two runs and six hits in two innings, striking out six. Atlanta’s Dansby Swanson went 2 for 3 and is batting .455.
ASTROS 6, MARLINS 4
Zack Greinke allowed an unearned run in his first appearance, throwing 22 of 28 pitches for strikes in two innings. Marlins closer Brandon Kintzler gave up two runs, one hit and four walks without retiring a batter. Michael Brantley hit his first home run as Miami lost for the first time after a 6-0 start. Caleb Smith allowed a hit and two walks in two innings while striking out three.
TWINS 4, RED SOX 1
J.D. Martinez hit a solo home run and tripled for his first hits for Boston. Eddie Rosario had a two-run double and prospect Alex Kirilloff had two hits, including a two-run homer. Homer Bailey allowed two hits in two scoreless innings.
METS 3, CARDINALS 2
After getting cleared to play by a cardiologist, New York’s Brandon Nimmo played center field and went 1 for 2 with a run. Nimmo was removed from the starting lineup before Wednesday’s game against Houston after a physical detected a recurrence of an irregular heartbeat. The 26-year-old was put through a series of tests and monitoring that included 24 hours with a wearable device. Right-hander Marcus Stroman worked two innings and allowed two hits and a run on Paul Goldschmidt’s opposite-field homer to right. Adam Wainwright gave up one run, four hits and a walk in three innings.
YANKEES 5, BRAVES (SS) 3
Deivi Garcia, New York’s top pitching prospect, struck out three in two innings and allowed two runs, both on Johan Camargo’s home run., Estevan Florial hit his first spring home run. Atlanta ace Mike Soroka pitched two scoreless innings in his first start, allowing three hits while striking out three. Josh Tomlin followed with three shutout innings.
ORIOLES 11, PIRATES 4
Richie Martin went 3 for 4 with a triple and a double and four RBIs. Rookie Brandon Bailey, trying to earn a rotation spot, pitched two perfect innings with two strikeouts. Trevor Williams gave up four runs, four hits and two walks in an inning as Pittsburgh dropped to 0-7. John Ryan Murphy hit a grand slam.
BLUE JAYS 5, TIGERS 4
Teoscar Hernández had a two-run double and an RBI triple for Toronto, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. added a run-scoring single. Left-handed pitching prospect Anthony Kaya allowed two hits in two scoreless innings while striking out three. Jonathan Schoop had a two-run double for Detroit. Kody Clemens, the son of former MLB pitcher Roger Clemens, had an RBI single. Iván Nova gave up three runs and four hits in two innings.
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