Clayton Kershaw showed out in his final start of spring training on Sunday.
The Dodgers returned to California for the first game of their annual exhibition series with the Angels, playing the first of the three games at Dodger Stadium. Their first home field game of the year featured Kershaw as the starter.
It was Kershaw’s fourth and by far best start of the spring. It took the left-hander only 74 pitches to get through six shutout innings while striking out seven. He set Angels superstar Mike Trout down on strikes all three times they faced off.
Kershaw only allowed three hits and once again issued zero walks, ending the spring without surrendering a single base on balls. It was the most sharp Kershaw has looked in 2023 and a good start to finish on before the regular season gets underway.
In total this spring, Kershaw finished with a 2-1 record and a 3.44 ERA. He had a great year in 2022, posting a 2.28 ERA in 22 starts, and will look to continue that success into the 16th season of his Hall of Fame career. He will make his first start of the regular season on Saturday against the Diamondbacks.
All three Dodgers runs in the win came from solo homers. Max Muncy and Chris Taylor hit back-to-back home runs in the second inning to give Kershaw the ahead early. The long balls were Muncy’s third and Taylor’s second of spring training.
It was especially good to see for Taylor, who struggled in Arizona and is looking to get back on track as Opening Day nears. The 2021 All-Star will see most of his playing time against lefties to begin the year.
The final run came from a James Outman homer in the eighth inning. It was Outman’s only at-bat of the game and was his third home run of spring training. The outfielder won an Opening Day roster spot with his impressive play this spring and did not let up in his first 2023 plate appearance in Los Angeles.
Outman homered 31 times and posted a .978 OPS in a breakout minor league season last year. He is now ranked as the Dodgers’ ninth best prospect on MLB Pipeline and will get consistent starts in the outfield this season.
After Kershaw’s great performance, relievers Yency Almonte, Brusdar Graterol, Phil Bickford and Shelby Miller completed the shutout with only one hit allowed among the group.
Noah Syndergaard will take on 2022 Dodger Tyler Anderson in Anaheim tomorrow to continue the Freeway Series. First pitch is set for 6:07 PM as only two exhibition games remain before Opening Day.