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Clayton Kershaw

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The Los Angeles Dodgers were in Mesa, Ariz., Friday afternoon to face the Oakland Athletics. It was a battle of aces as Clayton Kershaw matched up against right-hander Sonny Gray.

Gray showed why he would be the A’s Opening Day starter as he quickly retired the Dodgers in order on two fly outs and a ground out in the first inning; he needed just eight pitches to throw a scoreless first frame.

Kershaw started the game on the same note as he also had a 1-2-3 first inning. Scott Van Slyke led off the second and drew a walk. Juan Uribe grounded back to Gray, which allowed Van Slyke to reach second base on the fielder’s choice.

Van Slyke reached third base on a wild pitch, but Chris Heisey and Scott Schebler both grounded out without driving him in and that ended the Dodgers’ threat. In the bottom second, Kershaw looked to be in midseason form as he again retired the side in order.

After battery-mate A.J. Ellis struck out, Kershaw was the first Dodgers pitcher to have a competitive at-bat this Spring. He promptly singled to left field, but was erased when Jimmy Rollins lined into a double play.

The bottom of the third brought a scare when Kershaw was hit on the face by a broken bat line drive with one out. After throwing a few warm-up pitches, the reigning National League MVP appeared to be OK.

A bloop single into right scored the first run of the game and gave the A’s a 1-0 lead before Kershaw could get out of the inning. The Dodgers started off the fourth with a base hit from Andre Ethier. Howie Kendrick then singled that put runners on the corners with no outs.

CONTINUE READING: Kershaw Hangs Tough, Dodgers Come From Behind Then Blow Lead

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