Kershaw starts and offense struggles in Dodgers’ 3-1 loss to Rangers

Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports
Kershaw took the loss while the offense had a quiet night.

Clayton Kershaw made his second start of the spring as the Dodgers took on the Rangers on Thursday.

Kershaw got saddled with the loss, allowing two solo home runs over 4 1/3 innings of work. He pounded the strike zone, not issuing any walks but surrendering five total hits. Kershaw totaled four strikeouts in the start.

Through 7 1/3 innings this spring, Kershaw has posted a 6.14 ERA and allowed four homers. He is in an earlier stage of season preparation than the other arms in the Dodgers’ rotation because of his previous plans to represent U.S.A. in the World Baseball Classic. After insurance issues prevented him from playing, Kershaw stepped back to reset his schedule before the season begins.

Ultimately, Kershaw’s health is the main aspect of the spring that matters. The results in these games do not matter and his home run rates will go back to normal by Opening Day. Kershaw is ramping up his workload and working on things outside of direct game results.

“Overall felt like I was moving pretty good, just need to clean up a few of the smaller things right now,” Kershaw told SportsNet LA after the game.

Caleb Ferguson, Alex Vesia and Evan Phillips all made scoreless appearances in relief. Both Ferguson and Phillips have yet to allow runs this spring. For Vesia, it was a good bounce-back after he surrendered two homers in his last appearance on Saturday. The shutdown lefty’s ERA this spring now stands at 4.15.

Jimmy Nelson could not find the strike zone in his relief outing. He walked four, only recording one out and allowing a run before being taken out. Nelson has struggled with command this spring, issuing eight total walks across 2 1/3 innings thus far. His ERA sits at 3.86.

It was a quiet night offensively. The only run for LA came on a ninth-inning sacrifice fly from outfield prospect Drew Avans. The Dodgers had only six total hits in the loss.

Miguel Rojas batted third and went 1-2 with a walk to increase his spring OPS to .970. Positive offensive production from Rojas is a bonus, as he’s mainly on the field for his stellar defense and leadership at shortstop.

Miguel Vargas reached base in two of his three plate appearances by drawing two walks. Lastly, catching prospect Hunter Feduccia tripled to continue his dominance of spring training. Feduccia has posted a 1.563 OPS and nine RBI in his 14 spring at-bats.

The Dodgers fell to third place in the Cactus League with their loss to Texas. Tomorrow, they will travel to Mesa to take on the Cubs. First pitch will be back to the typical spring start time of 1:05 p.m. as Ryan Pepiot is scheduled to start.

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