The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Cincinnati Reds 2-0 on Saturday at Camelback Ranch, behind strong pitching from their opening day starter. Clayton Kershaw allowed just one hit and a walk in his four shutout innings, striking out three and facing the minimum 12 batters in his outing. Kershaw needed just 43 pitches to complete his outing, and 32 of those were strikes.
Kershaw already showed improvement within last season in his pitch efficiency. He walked 24 batters in his first 30 2/3 innings of 2010, an average of 7.04 walks per nine innings, but settled down to just 2.95 walks per nine innings over his final 26 starts of the season. "He had every pitch working, the change up, the curveball, the slider, the fastball," saidof Kershaw, during the KABC broadcast. "He showed no effects of it being his second spring start. He was money today."
In other news, reliever Hong-Chih Kuo threw 20 pitches of live batting practice today, and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Monday. If everything works out, Kuo will make his spring game debut on Wednesday against the Mariners...The Dodgers await MRI results on James Loney, who has a sore left knee. He is expected to miss the next few days...The Dodgers head to Mesa on Sunday to face the Cubs, with Chad Billingsley making his second start of the spring. Dodger starting pitchers this spring have allowed two earned runs in 24 1/3 innings (0.74 ERA) with 21 strikeouts.
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