PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw made no excuses for his third straight subpar outing.
Kershaw gave up four runs on seven hits, a walk and hit a batsman in three-plus innings of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 7-3 loss Tuesday to the San Diego Padres.
“It doesn’t matter that it’s spring. I focus on results,” Kershaw said. “The best way to gauge how you’re doing is how the hitters react. They’re reacting well, and that’s not good for me. It sucks to give up runs like that, no matter when or where it is.”
Kershaw has struggled in all three of his starts. All told, the 2011 Cy Young Award winner has given up nine runs on 17 hits in eight innings over three starts. He’s already given up more earned runs in three starts than he has in any spring training since 2009, when he was 20 years old.
The Padres were aggressive in the strike zone and jumped on him early. Catcher Nick Hundley hit a two-run homer in a three-run fourth inning that chased Kershaw from the game.
While it is incredibly early and he’s still refining his slider, Kershaw said he was troubled by this spring’s performance.
“Concern might not be the best word, but I’m definitely not confident after giving up that many runs,” Kershaw said. “You can’t say you feel great and that you’re doing great if you’re not seeing the results you want. I’m definitely looking to have a good start here one of these days. That’s always the goal.”
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly isn’t as concerned as his young ace is. He likes Kershaw’s fire, but sees no reason for alarm.
“Some guys expect everything they’re working on to work all the time,” Mattingly said. “It’s about shooting for perfection, and Clayton strives for that in everything he does. He expects to be really good all the time, which is part of the reason why he’s really good.
“But we also know it’s spring and he got knocked around a bit last spring, too,” Mattingly added. “It’s OK that he’s mad about unsatisfactory results, but we all know he’s going to be fine.”
The status of relief pitcher Shawn Tolleson remains uncertain. He injured his left knee in the eighth inning and was immediately removed from the game. Mattingly said he will be evaluated further on Wednesday, when a formal diagnosis will be announced.
Tolleson was 3-1 with a 4.30 ERA in 2012, with 30 holds in 37 2-3 innings.
Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp played his position for the first time since undergoing left shoulder surgery. He didn’t have a putout, but said he felt comfortable on defense. He was 0 for 3 at the plate on Tuesday and is 0 for 8 this spring.
“The offensive timing isn’t down yet,” Kemp said, “but I feel good and I’m swinging and playing without pain.”
Kemp is scheduled to play center field again Wednesday against Team Mexico.
Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin was 2 for 3 with a home run, two runs scored and an RBI. He also made a sliding catch in center field. Padres closer Huston Street pitched a scoreless seventh inning, his best outing of the spring. Starter Jason Marquis gave up one earned run in three innings pitched.
NOTES: RHP Zach Greinke will start Wednesday against Team Mexico, which is preparing for the World Baseball Classic. … LHP Ted Lilly was scheduled to start but was scratched due to illness. LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu will start Thursday against Cleveland. . The Dodgers reassigned RHP Gregory Infante to minor league camp. . Padres LHP Andrew Cashner will throw a batting practice session on Thursday or Friday, the last phase of his rehabilitation from offseason thumb surgery. He’s expected to pitch in his first spring game next week. OF Carlos Quentin (knee) is also expected to make his spring debut next week. . Padres RHP Nick Vincent’s activity has decreased due to a minor forearm strain. . Padres C Jason Hagerty was reassigned to minor league camp.