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. The left-hander struck out both on three pitches in the first. After two walks and a strikeout of his final batter, Kershaw exited 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 way,” 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, 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 $245 million over seven years, 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 Philadelphia's five-run fifth inning. Aaron Nola gave up two runs and six hits in two innings, striking out six. Atlanta shortstop 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 for Houston, 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 this spring. 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. Adam Wainwright gave up one run and four hits 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 homer. 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, a double and four RBIs. Rookie pitcher Brandon Bailey, trying to earn a rotation spot, tossed 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. Pitching prospect Anthony Kay 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 ace Roger Clemens, had an RBI single. Iván Nova gave up three runs and four hits in two innings.
MARINERS 6, DIAMONDBACKS 2
Shed Long Jr. had two run-scoring singles and Kyle Lewis hit his first spring home run, driving in two for Seattle. Yusei Kikuchi made his second start, pitching 2 1/3 innings and permitting one run on a hit and two walks while striking out three.
Eduardo Escobar had a single and a sacrifice fly, driving in both runs for Arizona. Ketel Marte doubled and scored. Alex Young, in the hunt for a rotation spot, started and allowed three runs on four hits and a walk, pitching two innings and striking out three.
WHITE SOX 8, INDIANS 3
Touted prospect Andrew Vaughn hit a solo home run for Chicago.
Franmil Reyes homered for Cleveland, his second this spring, and Jake Bauers added two hits. Top pitching prospect Logan Allen started, issuing three walks in two scoreless innings with two strikeouts.
ANGELS 7, RANGERS 2
Shohei Ohtani had a run-scoring single for Los Angeles, his first hit of the spring. Jo Adell, the Angels' top prospect, hit an RBI double and scored. Andrew Heaney made his first start, allowing an unearned run in two innings.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa had two hits and an RBI for Texas. Lance Lynn made his first start, pitching 2 2/3 innings and allowing two runs on four hits and a walk. He struck out three.
REDS 10, ATHLETICS 1
Anthony DeSclafani pitched two perfect innings in his first start for Cincinnati, striking out two. Joey Votto walked all three times up, scoring a run.
Mike Fiers struggled in his second start for Oakland, allowing five runs in two innings on four hits and three walks.
GIANTS (SS) 3, ROYALS 1
Buster Posey had two hits and Darin Ruf drove in all three runs for San Francisco's split squad with a homer and a two-run single.
Mike Montgomery made his first start for Kansas City, pitching a scoreless inning. Royals closer Ian Kennedy struggled in his first appearance, giving up two runs and three hits in one inning. Six-time All-Star catcher Salvador Pérez was back behind the plate for the first time since Tommy John surgery. The five-time Gold Glove winner caught the first four innings — he hadn't caught in a game since September 2018.
GIANTS (SS) 9, ROCKIES 6
Brandon Belt homered and doubled for the Giants. Billy Hamilton tripled, doubled and scored twice. Johnny Cueto gave up one hit in two scoreless innings.
Colorado starter Antonio Senzatela struck out four in three innings while allowing one run and two hits. Jeff Hoffman was tagged for five runs — two earned — and six hits in 1 2/3 innings.
PADRES 5, CUBS 1
Trent Grisham went 3 for 3 with a home run off Chicago starter Tyler Chatwood. Fernando Tatis Jr. was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and Manny Machado finished 0 for 2 with a walk. Padres newcomer Zach Davies permitted one run and three hits in two innings.
Anthony Rizzo doubled home Kris Bryant for the Cubs.