Nine up, nine down.
Clayton Kershaw has been perfect through his first three Cactus League frames of 2017, two of which came on Thursday afternoon from the Camelback Ranch in Glendale, AZ.
The Cleveland Indians went into an offensive lull and lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers by a score of 4-2 in front of a crowd of 5,693 fans.
Danny Salazar issued three free passes, Shawn Morimando surrendered a trio of runs and only four Tribe bats could scratch out a hit: Jose Ramirez, Daniel Robertson, Erik Gonzalez and Greg Allen.
Right from the first batter of the contest, Salazar showed little feel for the strike zone by walking Andre Ethier and Justin Turner within moments of his first pitch delivery. Yasmani Grandal’s RBI single broke the scoring barrier and gave the Dodgers an early 1-0 edge.
“With some repetition, the hope is he starts working ahead,” said manager Terry Francona to reporters. “When he has that fastball with that velocity, he’ll be a lot more effective.”
Salazar walked Chris Taylor in the second inning, but retired the next two batters to escape matters unscathed.
“My arm is a little bit slow still, but I think we’ve got time to catch it,” Salazar said after the game. “The only thing I have to do is the adjustments with my arm, to get the speed so it can go with my body and with my delivery.”
Robertson continues to impress
When Robertson signed a minor league contract with a non-roster invite to big league camp, there was not as much buzz in the city of Cleveland as there was with free agent signings like Edwin Encarnacion and Boone Logan.
A 31-year-old veteran with MLB experience across all three outfield positions and second base, Robertson is better known for his defensive flexibility than his skills at the plate.
Nonetheless, Robertson has proved his worth in camp by going 4-for-12 with one triple and two RBIs through six games played. His three-bagger came around to score on Taylor’s fielding error in the top of the third inning to even the score at 1-1.
Allen was responsible for the remaining offense with his second career Cactus League hit, an RBI double plating Chris Colabello in the seventh.
The Indians return home to kick off the weekend as they take on the Colorado Rockies at 3:05 PM ET from Goodyear Park in Goodyear, AZ.
Carlos Carrasco and Jeff Hoffman will start the matinee affair.
John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.