MESA, Ariz. (AP) Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw lost part of a tooth when he was hit by a line drive in the third Friday, but the NL MVP and Cy Young Award winner finished a five-inning outing.
Kershaw turned awkwardly on the mound and raised his glove up to try and field Oakland’s Andy Parrino’s broken-bat liner. Instead, the ball struck the left-hander in the jaw. He slumped to his knees for a few seconds while teammates and trainers rushed to help.
”It felt like getting hit by a pitch,” said Kershaw, who went down to the bullpen for some extra work after he left the game. ”It’s just sore. I feel fine.”
After being examined by Dodgers head trainer Stan Conte for several minutes and taking a warmup pitch, Kershaw got the next batter, Coco Crisp, on a lineout to second base then gave up an RBI single to Craig Gentry.
”At this point, with only a couple of starts left to build up the pitch count, it’s pretty important to stay out there,” Kershaw said. ”Stan checked me out and I was OK. I just lost some tooth.”
The tooth, from the back of his mouth, was recovered on the field.
Kershaw gave up three hits and a run in five innings. He struck out four.
”It was scary at first,” A’s starter Sonny Gray said. ”Thankfully he was fine. It shows you what a competitor he is going back out in a spring training game.”
Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis was able to make light of it afterward. ”His Gold Glove is a sham,” Ellis joked. ”It was a broken-bat changeup hit right to him. It should have been a double play.”