An unusually chilly March night at Dodger Stadium didn’t appear to have much impact on Clayton Kershaw as he turned in a shutout start to help the Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the Los Angeles Angels, 3-0, in the Freeway Series opener.
Kershaw benefitted from the wind on multiple occasions as deep fly balls were kept in the ballpark, but he also had a noticeably sharper slider and good fastball command. Kershaw retired the first 11 batters faced prior to allowing a baserunner — which came on Shohei Ohtani’s two-out base hit in the fourth inning.
Mike Trout and Ohtani finished a combined 1-for-6 with four strikeouts against Kershaw on the night.
The Angels collected two more hits in the fifth inning when Gio Urshela and Logan O’Hoppe singled with two outs, but nothing came of it. Kershaw wound up getting through six scoreless innings on 74 pitches, good for his longest outing of Spring Training.
He’s lined up to pitch the Dodgers’ third game of the season against the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 1.
Max Muncy and Chris Taylor provided Kershaw with an early lead by slugging back-to-back solo home runs in the second inning. It was a noteworthy development for both players as they are each looking to bounce back from a rough 2022 season.
Muncy recently expressed a feeling of needing to prove himself admit external doubts that have set in, and Taylor endured a high strikeout rate during Cactus League play.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts nevertheless remarked prior to first pitch that he’d seen Taylor taking better swings over recent days and planned to give him plenty of starts against left-handed pitching.
James Outman added a solo home run in the eighth inning, and Yency Almonte, Brusdar Graterol, Phil Bickford and Shelby Miller combined to keep the Angels off the board after Kershaw.
On deck for Dodgers
The Freeway Series now shifts to Angel Stadium, with Noah Syndergaard scheduled to start Tuesday night and Ryan Pepiot taking the mound in the finale.
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