Kenley Jansen looks sharp in Dodgers’ exhibition loss to Rangers

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen delivers during an exhibition game against the Cubs on Feb. 23.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen is using a new slider grip this season.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Texas 8, Dodgers 6

ON THE MOUND: Closer Kenley Jansen’s one-two-three third inning ended with him badly fooling Jeff Mathis with a full-count slider that the catcher swung through for the third strike. Jansen, at the suggestion of former pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and former Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser, is using a new slider grip. The pitch, which Jansen wants to throw near 80-mph, has a tighter spin and more sink than side-to-side action. “I feel consistent with it,” Jansen said. “I threw the first one for a strike today and the other was a put-away pitch on a full count.” Left-hander Adam Kolarek, who will have to face more right-handed batters with the institution of the new three-batter minimum rule, gave up five consecutive singles to right-handed hitters in a four-run fifth inning. Pedro Baez struck out two batters in a scoreless fourth.

AT THE PLATE: The Dodgers scored once in the first inning when Max Muncy led off with an infield single, A.J. Pollock and Corey Seager walked, and Will Smith hit a run-scoring groundout. Enrique Hernandez hit his third home run of the spring, a solo shot to left field against Corey Kluber with two outs in the third inning. Zach McKinstry homered in the eighth and Edwin Rios hit a two-run shot in the ninth.

The Dodgers are tired of talking about what the Houston Astros did in 2017. They’re excited about what lies ahead for the team this season.


EXTRA BASES: Reliever Blake Treinen will throw one more live-batting practice session in the middle of this week before making his Cactus League debut, probably next weekend. … Outfielder Joc Pederson, sidelined by injuries to his right side and hip, took batting practice at about 80% effort but is not expected to play in a game for at least another week. … Cole Roberts, the son of manager Dave Roberts and an infielder at Loyola Marymount, played all 24 innings the Lions’ 4-3 loss to UC Davis on Saturday, going one for seven. “Man, that’s a tough first game of a series, and they have a doubleheader [Sunday],” Roberts said. “But he’s doing all right. He’s young.”

UP NEXT: Left-handers David Price and Julio Urias are scheduled to pitch two innings each against the Cincinnati Reds on Monday at Goodyear Park. TV: SportsNet LA, noon PST.