MESA, Ariz. — The Dodgers held their collective breath for a moment Friday when Clayton Kershaw was struck in the face by a line drive off the bat of Oakland’s Andy Parrino.
In the third inning of the Cactus League game at HoHoKam Stadium, Kershaw was a bit late raising up his glove to deflect the baseball. He appeared to be struck on his left cheek or jaw, then sat on the ground while his teammates gathered around the mound.
Dodgers head athletic trainer Stan Conte sprung out of the dugout and examined Kershaw, who eventually threw a warm-up pitch and was allowed to remain in the game.
With runners on first and third base, Kershaw retired Coco Crisp on a line drive on his next pitch. An RBI single by Craig Gentry gave the A’s their first run later in the inning.
Kershaw remained in the game to pitch the fourth inning. The 2014 MVP/Cy Young Award winner is making his fourth spring training start.
The Dodgers will play two games today: One at 1 p.m. in Mesa, Arizona against the Oakland A’s and another at 5 p.m. in San Antonio, Texas against the Rangers.
Here is the lineup for the game against the A’s:
Today is Clayton Kershaw‘s 27th birthday. Yesterday, he won the clubhouse doubles ping-pong tournament with partner Corey Seager. His wife and newborn daughter are in town and, in perhaps the best present of all, Kershaw doesn’t have to leave them to attend the Dodgers’ two-game trip to San Antonio this weekend. He’ll start tomorrow for the Dodgers against the A’s in Mesa instead.
According to odds released yesterday by Bovada, Kershaw is also the preseason favorite to win his fourth Cy Young Award. Only Steve Carlton, Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson have done this in the National League; Johnson also won the award once in the American League. Roger Clemens holds the most, with seven (six in the AL, one in the NL).
Here are a bunch of Dodger-related odds: