Dodgers ace Kershaw could miss opening day start

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              FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2018, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw winds up to throw during the first inning in Game 5 of the World Series baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Los Angeles. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts says Kershaw is making steady progress in his recovery from left shoulder inflammation, but the ace may not be ready to start opening day. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
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Clayton Kershaw might not be on the mound when the two-time NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers start the season.

The lefty ace is working his way back from shoulder soreness that caused him to shut down his spring training.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said “that’s fair” when asked Monday whether Kershaw might miss the opener March 28 against Arizona at Dodger Stadium.

“There’s just way too much importance put on the opening-day roster. The No. 1 thing is for him to be ready and to feel confident physically and mentally,” Roberts said, “and when that is, it is.”

Kershaw has made a franchise-record eight consecutive opening day starts, and was tabbed to do so again when the Dodgers arrived in Arizona.

But a couple days later, the three-time Cy Young Award winner had some shoulder soreness that caused him to halt his throwing program. He’s taking anti-inflammatory medication.

Kershaw began throwing against last week, slowly building up the amount of work and the distance of his throws. He threw on flat ground Monday for the fourth time in five days.

“From everything I hear,” Roberts said, “he’s encouraged.”

The Dodgers have plenty of depth in their starting rotation with Walker Buehler, Rich Hill, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda and Ross Stripling in the mix. Julio Arias has also flashed signs that he is ready for the big leagues, though the Dodgers may want to limit his innings early on.

FROM AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT AND CACTUS LEAGUES

MARLINS 9, NATIONALS 8

Lewis Brinson hit two home runs, giving him five so far this spring for Miami. After hitting .199 in his rookie season, Brinson is hitting .438. Wei-Yin Chen went two innings in his start, giving up four earned runs on five hits.

Jeremy Hellickson started and worked three innings for the Nationals, striking out four and allowing a run on two hits.

TIGERS 9, CARDINALS 5

Mikie Mahtook hit two home runs, including a drive off St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright. Nicholas Castellanos added a pair of doubles. Detroit starter Michael Fulmer worked three innings and gave up four hits.

Wainwright went three innings, allowing two runs and five hits while striking out three. Kolton Wong led off the game with a home run.

ASTROS (SS) 4, BRAVES 3

Houston starter Wade Miley gave up three hits in 2 2/3 innings.

Ronald Acuna Jr. homered for Atlanta. Starter Julio Teheran struck out four in three innings, giving up two runs and three hits.

ORIOLES 9, TWINS 4

C.J. Cron hit two home runs for Minnesota. Kyle Gibson went two innings in his first spring start.

Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy gave up five hits in three innings. Renato Nunez had a grand slam off Twins reliever Addison Reed.

METS (SS) 7, ASTROS (SS) 4

Making his case to be New York’s opening day first baseman, Pete Alonso hit his second home run of the spring, raising his batting average to .412. Travis d’Arnaud singled and doubled. Corey Oswalt gave up a run on four hits in 2 1/3 innings.

Will Harris made his spring debut for Houston after surgery in December to repair an umbilical hernia that required him to be almost immobile for four weeks afterward. Harris worked one inning, striking out two and allowing three hits.

George Springer hit his first home run of the spring for the Astros.

RED SOX 9, METS (SS) 3

Gorkys Hernandez made a diving catch in center field in the first inning and hit a three-run homer in the second for Boston. Blake Swihart rejoined the Red Sox after leaving to spend time with his family following the death of his brother, Romell Jordan. Eduardo Rodriguez worked two scoreless innings in the start, scattering three hits.

Steven Matz started for the Mets and left with two outs in the third after giving up four earned runs on five hits with two walks. Tim Tebow started in left field for New York and hit two singles.

CUBS 9, REDS (SS) 1

Albert Almora Jr. led off the game with a home run for Chicago. Yasiel Puig went hitless in three at-bats, striking out twice, and is hitting .154 for Cincinnati.

REDS (SS) 3, DIAMONDBACKS 3, 9 INNINGS

Matt Kemp hit his second home run of the spring and Kyle Farmer singled and doubled. Cincinnati starter Tanner Roark worked three innings of one-hit ball.

Christian Walker furthered his bid to replace the departed Paul Goldschmidt at first base for Arizona with a double, single and two RBIs. He is hitting .467. Arizona starter Luke Weaver worked three innings, striking out three.

PADRES 8, INDIANS 0

Hanley Ramirez went 0 for 3 in his debut with Cleveland. The 35-year-old recently got a minor league contract after getting released by Boston last June 1. If he makes the Indians‘ big league roster, he likely would be a part-time DH.

Cleveland starter Shane Bieber gave up two hits in three innings.

Manny Machado doubled for San Diego. Joey Lucchesi gave up one hit in three innings.

ANGELS 6, WHITE SOX 6, 9 INNINGS

Los Angeles starter Trevor Cahill left with two outs in the fourth inning after allowing two runs on four hits and striking out three. Kaleb Cowart hit a grand slam and Jarrett Parker homered and singled.

James McCann had two hits and Laz Rivera homered for Chicago. Reynaldo Lopez worked 3 1/3 innings in the start, striking out four but allowing four earned runs on four hits with two walks. Former Tampa closer Alex Colome worked a 1-2-3 inning in relief.

ROCKIES 4, RANGERS 4, 9 INNINGS

Colorado starter German Marquez went three innings and gave up four hits.

Rougned Odor and Bubba Thompson homered for Texas. Starter Edinson Volquez allowed one hit over two innings.

DODGERS 8, GIANTS 4

Chris Taylor doubled and singled for Los Angeles. Julio Urias gave up a home run in his two-inning start.

Jeff Samardzija started and went three one-hit innings for San Francisco, striking out four. Evan Longoria hit his second home run of the spring.