PHOENIX – Clayton Kershaw pitched six innings against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday in what figures to be his final extended start of the spring.
The Dodgers’ opening-day starter was charged with three runs (two earned) and four hits. He struck out eight and walked three.
The Dodgers lost the game, 6-5.
Third baseman Luis Cruz hit two home runs. In addition to replacing sidelined Hanley Ramirez as the Dodgers’ starting shortstop, Cruz could also take his place as the team’s No. 5 hitter.
Kershaw is expected to make an abbreviated start the next time he takes the mound, on Wednesday.
Kershaw said it was beneficial to face a tough Reds lineup in preparation for his April 1 regular-season opener.
“That’s probably their regular lineup, minus maybe [Ryan] Hanigan and [Shin-Soo] Choo,” Kershaw said. “That’s a good lineup. They have a good team over there.”