An eerie, sudden hush fell upon Hohokam Stadium on Friday afternoon in Mesa, Ariz.
Trainers, coaches, teammates all rushed to his side as their franchise player sat on the edge of the mound dirt. Everyone in the stadium seemed afraid to take a breath.
But after being examined by head trainer Stan Conte, the left-hander remained in the game, finished the inning and actually threw two more in the
Kershaw suffered a chipped tooth and a sore jaw, but otherwise appeared fine. In his five innings, he allowed one run on three hits, striking out four and not walking a batter.
The Dodgers had learned earlier in the day that they might have to start the season without left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder soreness), and the thought of losing their ace sent a scare through the organization, if not a chill throughout the ballpark.
Kershaw, however, not only finished his scheduled five innings, but then walked to the bullpen -- the crowd giving him a nice ovation -- to get in a little additional work.
The battle for the bullpen continued hot after he left --
Minor leaguer Blake Smith gave up two runs in the ninth to take the loss.
On offensive, the Dodgers were relatively quiet. They managed only four hits, two from