The Los Angeles Dodgers matched up with the Cleveland Indians a second time this spring, with Clayton Kershaw looking to continue preparing for Opening Day. He was backed by a lineup that lost Howie Kendrick less than 30 minutes before first pitch due to left calf tightness.
Joc Pederson led off against Trevor Bauer with a fly ball to right field for an out. After Yasiel Puig struck out on three pitches, Justin Turner hit a ground-rule double. Adrian Gonzalez followed with a shot to deep center but was robbed of an RBI and extra bases by Rajai Davis.
Davis led off against Clayton Kershaw but popped out to second. Jason Kipnis followed with a ringing double that one-hopped the center field wall. He was brought home on a ball fisted over Kiké Hernandez at shortstop to give the Indians an early 1-0 lead.
Kershaw responded by striking out Mike Napoli and getting Marlon Byrd to ground out to end the inning. In the second, Scott Van Slyke led off with a double inside the first baseline. A.J. Ellis failed to advance the runner as he struck out swinging.
Hernandez popped out to first base in foul territory, again failing to advance the runner. Elian Herrera drilled a liner to the left side of the infield, but it was snagged by Juan Uribe to end the scoring threat.
Uribe hit a leadoff double to the right-center field gap over a stretched-out Pederson. Joey Butler followed with a bouncer to third that Turner picked on a short-hop and easily threw out the runner.
Colin Cowgill hit a high fly ball that carried over Pederson’s head, scoring Uribe and resulting in a triple. Roberto Perez drew a walk to put runners on the corners and turn the lineup over. A bouncer to third off Davis’ bat led to a 5-2-5-1 putout.
Kershaw walked Kipnis on a four pitches to load the bases, bringing up Francisco Lindor. Kershaw struck out the young shortstop to end the laborious second inning with a 2-0 deficit. Trayce Thompson led off the third with a bouncer toward the hole at short, but a nice sliding play and throw from Uribe recorded the first out.
CONTINUE READING: A.J. Ellis ties game in ninth inning on squeeze play