Right-hander strikes out three in 5 1/3 before Carlin plates game-winner
By Chad Thornburg
MESA, Ariz. -- Both aces -- Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers and Sonny Gray for the A's -- turned in solid outings Friday afternoon in Oakland's 3-2 walk-off win.
After the A's loaded the bases against Blake Smith on a walk, a double and an intentional walk in the ninth, they scored the tying run on a double play, and Luke Carlin plated the game-winner with a single.
"Some of these guys are coming over from mini-camp, they're getting a chance to play in these games and have a say in the finish of it," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "You look at it as a Spring Training game and so forth, but these guys are trying to make an impression for the first time, so it's really exciting for them."
What nearly became the story of the game, however, was an injury scare for Kershaw in the third inning.
He was struck in the left side of his jaw by a broken-bat liner hit by A's third baseman Andy Parrino. But after a visit from the trainers and one warmup pitch, Kershaw remained in the game through the fifth inning.
"Scare? Yeah, I guess so," Kershaw said. "It felt like getting hit by a pitch. Nothing serious. I don't think I panicked too much. It was sore. I think I lost some tooth. I spit it out, and we got it. I assume tomorrow, I'll be sore. I feel fine now."
The Dodgers' ace retired 15 of the 18 batters he faced, allowing one run on three hits while fanning four. He also contributed at the plate, hitting a single in the first at-bat of spring for any Dodgers pitcher.
Gray, the A's Opening Day starter, tossed three scoreless frames before the Dodgers got to him in the fourth with back-to-back singles to open the inning, eventually plating both baserunners.
"We took the lead there in the bottom of the third," said Gray. "That's when I've got to go out there and get a zero. Unfortunately, today that didn't happen."
Gray recovered to retire five of his last six batters and exited the game one out into the sixth inning. The 25-year-old right-hander allowed two runs on four hits and two walks and struck out three in his third Cactus League start.
A's left-hander Barry Zito, in the midst of a comeback bid after missing the 2014 season, fanned five in three perfect innings.
Up Next: The A's will stay home Saturday for a 1:05 p.m. PT contest against the Reds at Hohokam Stadium. Jesse Hahn is slated to take the mound for the A's. He'll look to pad his resume as one of several candidates in the mix to fill out the back end of the A's rotation. Relievers Fernando Abad and Evan Scribner are also scheduled to pitch. Listen to the game live on Gameday Audio.
Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.