Avisail Garcia unloaded on a Kershaw slider, launching it just right of the center-field wall for a three-run home run. The longball followed singles by Jose Abreu and Marcus Semien and ended Kershaw’s night around the 80-pitch mark.
“It wasn’t great,” Kershaw said of his final Cactus League tuneup. “There was some improvement in the middle innings. Obviously that home run didn’t help but, you know, that’s part of it.”
The left-hander finishes baseball’s preseason with a 9.20 earned-run average in 14 ⅔ innings.
The Dodgers conclude the Cactus League season tomorrow at 1 p.m. against the Colorado Rockies.
The Dodgers enjoyed a strange, mostly successful first inning against Chicago White Sox starter Chris Sale. Yasiel Puig beat out a ground ball to first base, ruled an error on Sale when the pitcher dropped an underhand flip from Sox first baseman Jose Abreu.
Justin Turner singled Puig to second base, and a wild pitch by Sale moved both runners up. Scott Van Slyke was hit on his left shin by another errant pitch and stayed in the game, loading the bases for Juan Uribe.
Uribe’s sacrifice fly to left field brought in Puig with the Dodgers’ first run. A.J. Ellis walked, loading the bases again. Alex Guerrero drove in Turner when a ball bounced in the dirt and hit him in the foot. The inning ended when Joc Pederson grounded into a double play. Curiously, seven players came to bat in the inning but only two (Turner and Pederson) recorded an at-bat.
Down 2-0, the White Sox greeted Kershaw in the bottom half of the inning with three hits.
The first hit, a screaming line drive to center field by Adam Eaton, was badly misplayed by center fielder Joc Pederson. The heralded prospect took a few quick steps in, then stopped in his tracks when he realized the ball was sailing over his head. Pederson reached up at the last second but the ball had other plans, coming to a stop on the warning track and allowing Eaton to circle the bases. It was ruled an inside-the-park home run.
Marcus Semien smacked a line-drive single to right field and went to second on a groundout by Abreu. Avisail Garcia singled home Semien, tying the game 2-2.
Both Sale and Kershaw cruised for the next three innings before the Dodgers re-took the lead in the fifth inning on a bizarre play. Sale walked Turner and former Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario took over on the mound, only to walk Van Slyke. The next batter, Uribe, hit a ground ball to shortstop Alexei Ramirez.
The slick-fielding Ramirez threw to second base, but Van Slyke slid in safely ahead of the throw. Semien, the second baseman, then threw toward first base to retire Uribe. The ball couldn’t have traveled more than a foot before it hit Van Slyke in the helmet and caromed into right field. Turner scampered home for the Dodgers’ third run. Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura challenged the out call at second base and the call was upheld.
The Dodgers pulled ahead 4-2 in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly by Chone Figgins that scored Alex Guerrero from third base.
The box score is here.