PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — National League MVP and Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw allowed one run in his third spring start, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Seattle Mariners 5-2 on Sunday.
Despite allowing only the one run, Kershaw was erratic, allowing four hits and walking three and throwing a wild pitch in 3 1-3 innings. He was scheduled to pitch four innings but left early because of a high pitch count (65).
“Today was rough,” Kershaw said. “I was all over the place, had no idea where the ball was going. Need to figure it out, getting worse as the spring goes on.”
Howie Kendrick and Carl Crawford had RBI doubles off Seattle starter Roenis Elias. Reserve Darwin Barney homered in the eighth inning.
Robinson Cano doubled off Kershaw and slugger Nelson Cruz singled and walked for Seattle. Catcher Mike Zunino extended his hitting streak to six games, doubling off Kershaw in his first at-bat.
“During the season if you struggle and you give up one run, you definitely take that,” Kershaw said. “They very easily could have had three or four. Walk three guys in three innings, I haven’t done that in a long time. Lot of things to figure out.”
Dodgers: Kershaw doesn’t completely buy into the theory that he could learn from a rough outing.
“No, you’d like to get everybody out,” he said. “I don’t think you learn anything from failing. Well, I don’t want to say that. I don’t look forward to that struggle. I guess it’s good to pitch out of the stretch and have some situations like that.”
Seattle hitters worked long counts and a couple times fought back to earn walks against one of the best pitchers in the game. In the first inning, Rickie Weeks turned a 1-2 count with two outs into a walk that loaded the bases. Austin Jackson went from 0-2 with two out to a walk in the second.
Kershaw said his pitches were “up more than I wanted to be,” but he’s confident any kinks will be worked out by opening day.
“I’ll be ready physically,” he said, “just got to get the other part there.
“Getting people out.”
Mariners: Elias, who’s contending with Taijuan Walker for the fifth-starter’s job, allowed two earned runs on six hits, while striking out three and walking none, in 3 2-3 innings. Elias left in the fourth after allowing back-to-back singles before Crawford’s RBI double.
Elias has a 4.70 ERA in three spring starts.
THE KING GETS IN HIS WORK
Mariners ace Felix Hernandez threw a simulated game Sunday morning. Hernandez tossed 51 pitches, with 38 for strikes, struck out four and allowed two hits in three-plus innings. He faced mostly minor league hitters.
“It was good, I got my work in,” Hernandez said. “I feel pretty good. I threw a lot of strikes and worked on my stuff. It was fine.”
Hernandez is expected to make his second spring start Saturday against the Chicago Cubs.
Seattle cut 10 players from its big league camp, including pitcher Danny Hultzen and outfielder Jordy Lara. Hultzen, the second overall pick in the 2011 draft, is the most recognizable name of the group, but it’s not a surprise that he was optioned to the minors. Hultzen, 25, missed all of last season and his recovering from major shoulder surgery. Lara was Seattle’s co-minor league player of the year in 2014, hitting 26 home runs and batting .337 in 135 games at Class-A High Desert and Double-A Jackson. Fifty-one players remain in Seattle’s big league camp, including 14 non-roster invitees.
Dodgers: Outfielder Yasiel Puig returned to the lineup after being scratched from Saturday’s game because of stomach illness. Against Seattle, Puig started in right field and went 0 for 3. He is batting .176 in spring training.
Mariners: Shortstop Chris Taylor returned to the clubhouse Sunday with a brace on his broken right wrist. Struck by a pitch Friday against Milwaukee, Taylor will wear the brace for seven to 10 days and resume baseball activities in four to six weeks.
Dodgers: Zack Greinke makes his second start of the spring Monday against Oakland. Greinke looks to clean up after his first outing, when he allowed two earned runs on two hits, two walks, hit a batter and did not record a strikeout against the Chicago Cubs.
Mariners: Seattle does not play Monday. On Tuesday, Hisashi Iwakuma will make his second start when he faces the Chicago White Sox. Iwakuma did not tally a strikeout, walk, hit or run in his first start when he threw two innings against Arizona.
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