MESA, Ariz. — The Cubs scored first, off three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, but the Dodgers feasted on Cubs pitching in the middle innings for the Cactus League victory at Sloan Park. It was the fifth consecutive loss for the Cubs, who dropped to 1-6 this spring.
In his second start of the spring, Kyle Hendricks outdueled Kershaw for three scoreless innings, allowing only a pair of first-inning singles and retiring the final seven he faced.
“It’s s different feel when you’re facing a guy like that,” Hendricks said. “Even though it’s spring training you know he’s over there. But I was just trying to do my thing, just slow everything down and make some pitches. I feel pretty good about it.”
The projected fifth starter has allowed one run in five innings (1.80) this spring.
Developing super-utility man Javy Baez was back at his natural position, shortstop – his third position of the spring – and made the play of the game to end the third inning.
Yasiel Puig grounded hard past third baseman Kris Bryant, and Baez ranged deep in the hole to glove the ball on the grass, and in one motion turn and deliver a strong throw to get Puig by a half-step.
Middle of nowhere
Swingman Travis Wood, who pitched three innings behind Hendricks, and bullpen prospect Armando Rivero, who didn’t get through one inning of work, were roughed up for a combined six earned runs on nine hits and two walks in the middle innings.
Much ado about …
Kris Bryant and his social-media “granpa,” David Ross, each hit his first homer of the spring. Ross, the backup catcher who plans to retire after the season, also doubled (3-for-6 this spring).
Indians at Cubs (Sloan Park), 2:05 p.m., mlb.com audio, Corey Kluber vs. Jake Arrieta. First start of spring for Arrieta in matchup of Cy Young winners.