In their most lopsided result of the spring, the Dodgers crushed a Rangers lineup that featured all but one of their projected opening-day starters. [box score]
Clayton Kershaw, making his first Cactus League start, allowed three hits and a walk in three innings against his hometown team. He induced consecutive comebackers to Josh Hamilton (on a grounder) and Adrian Beltre (line drive) to end the first inning. Kershaw also picked off Nelson Cruz at first base; of his 42 pitches, 28 were strikes.
“This is as normal as it gets,” Kershaw said. “I threw everything –some sliders, curveballs; my changeup was terrible.”
In what the Dodgers hope is a normal occurrence, Matt Kemp went 2-for-2 with a home run, Juan Rivera batted cleanup and belted his first home run of the spring, and Andre Ethier went 2-for-2 with a triple. Prospect Alex Castellanos hit his second home run of the spring, his second in as many days.
The Dodgers are 3-1-1 after starting 2-6 last season, but manager Don Mattingly isn’t placing value on results yet — even a lopsided victory. “I’d much rather see us swing the bats,” he said, “but I also know we’ll hit a stretch where we don’t score.”
A few more notes:
Last Kenley Jansen update of the day: Head athletic trainer Sue Falsone said she doesn’t know the exact reason for Jansen’s accelerated heart rate last night, but noted that “any time you are on blood pressure medication, there are side effects.” This may have been the case. Falsone said “he should be fine” to pitch his scheduled inning tomorrow.
Castellanos will be starting today when the Dodgers play split-squad games against the Mariners (12 p.m. PST in Peoria) and White Sox (6 p.m. PST in Glendale), but don’t look too much into that move. “I’m really trying to get my club ready,” Don Mattingly said, “and he’s not part of that right now.” Castellanos will see more time at second base as the spring progresses but played right field Friday. He is batting .571 with two homers.
Burbank native Ryan Tucker, who pitched six games out of the bullpen for the Rangers last season, tossed two scoreless innings against his former team.