Clayton Kershaw struggled from his first pitch of the game and it was a factor in the Los Angeles Dodgers suffering a 7-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers in their first meeting since last seasons’ Wild Card Series.
Kershaw surrendered back-to-back home runs to open the game and also gave up a pair of one-out singles in the first inning. He benefitted from Keston Hiura being thrown out by Matt Beaty on his attempt to go first to third, which replay suggested was an incorrect call.
Kershaw followed up the 19-pitch inning by efficiently retiring the Brewers in order in the second. That wound up being offset by a long third inning in which the Brewers pushed across three runs to extend their lad to 5-0.
Kershaw was at 56 pitches through the third but he remained in the game to continue to stretching out and get through the scheduled four innings. Although he labored in the start, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was more concerned with the next step in his spring progression.
“I think it’s about the buildup,” Roberts said before the game. “He’s done this time and time again, so for us it’s just build him up, get through four innings, move on and get to the next day.”
If there was a highlight for Kershaw, his first at-bat in a game since 2019 produced an opposite-field single down the third-base line.
To keep with pitching on schedule, Trevor Bauer accepted an appearance out of the bullpen on Monday. The temporary role change did nothing to disrupt his effectiveness — at least initially — as Bauer struck out five of the first six batters faced.
The first hit Bauer allowed over his five innings of work was a one-out solo home run to Luke Maile in the seventh. Billy McKinney also took Bauer deep for a solo homer in the eighth inning. Despite the long balls, Bauer finished withs even strikeouts.
Bellinger hitless in debut
Cody Bellinger made his 2021 debut in the loss, starting in center field and going 0-for-3. Roberts anticipates getting Bellinger 30 to 40 at-bats in order to prepare for the regular season, though some of those could come on the backfields at Camelback Ranch.
Matt Davidson’s two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning prevented the Dodgers from being shut out.
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