Reds 6, Dodgers 5
Clayton Kershaw is feeling much better as spring training wraps
up. And that’s a very important development for the Los Angeles
Kershaw struck out eight over six innings in a 6-5 loss to the
Cincinnati Reds on Friday.
”I feel good, which is a good thing,” said Kershaw, who is
scheduled to start on opening day against San Francisco at Dodger
Stadium. ”Overall, these past two, three starts, I felt
The left-hander allowed three runs and four hits. He walked
three, including the first two batters he faced.
It was a much different performance than the one he had against
San Diego on March 5, when he struggled through three innings,
allowing four runs and seven hits.
”It was really that one against San Diego that I didn’t like a
whole lot,” he said. ”Other than that, I felt OK. Now, it’s time
to get going.”
With manager Don Mattingly still to finalize who will begin the
season at shortstop, Luis Cruz hit a three-run homer in the first
and a solo shot in the fourth for Los Angeles.
Hanley Ramirez underwent surgery on Friday to repair a right
thumb injury. He is expected to be sidelined for eight weeks,
leaving an opening in the infield.
Mattingly is leaning toward shifting Cruz from third base to
shortstop until Ramirez is ready to play. That, Mattingly said,
would give him options at third.
Cruz was still at third against Cincinnati on Friday, but said
he could move over to shortstop whenever.
”I played short my whole career,” he said. ”I’ve been at
third the last three years. Short is actually easier. It’s my
natural position. Where the ball goes is where I know to go. It’s
been a good spring. Coming in, my mentality was the same as always.
I have to win a job. But you feel more pressure, I think, when
they’re not counting on you.”
If Mattingly moves Cruz to shortstop, it appears Dee Gordon is
headed to Triple-A Albuquerque. But there’s been no decision.
Gordon started at shortstop on Friday.
”Whatever he tells me to do, I go out and do,” Gordon said.
”I don’t care. I just play.”
Mike Leake allowed four runs and five hits in five innings for
Cincinnati. He struck out two and walked three.
Leake won the last spot in Cincinnati’s rotation when manager
Dusty Baker announced Friday that Aroldis Chapman was returning to
the closer role.
”I felt really good,” Leake said. ”There were just two bad
pitches. It’s been a good spring. I wanted to challenge myself to
be the pitcher I had been. I don’t feel like I necessarily deserved
to be in the rotation. But I fought for it. I wasn’t going to be
lax and make it an easy decision for them.”
Cincinnati scored three times in the ninth. Jack Hannahan had a
two-run single and Xavier Paul delivered a sacrifice fly.
Ryan Ludwick and Todd Frazier each drove in a run for the
The Dodgers got a scare in the fifth inning when outfielder
Yasiel Puig left after he got the wind knocked out of him
attempting to make a diving catch on Brandon Phillips’ liner.
NOTES: Los Angeles’ Carl Crawford is scheduled to play in left
field for the first time this spring on Saturday night against the
Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch. Crawford, who was 1 for 3 as
a designated hitter on Friday, has been strengthening his
surgically repaired left elbow in throwing drills. … Dodgers RHP
Chad Billingsley is scheduled to pitch in a minor league game
Saturday afternoon. He was scratched from a start on Tuesday
because of a bruise on his right index finger. … Spotted at
Camelback Ranch during the seventh-inning stretch: Former Lakers
coach Phil Jackson. Jackson disappeared into the Dodger offices for
about five minutes, then got in his vehicle and quietly left.
Dodgers minority owner Magic Johnson, the former Laker great,
addressed the team before the game.