MESA, Ariz. -
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw lost part of a tooth when he was hit by a line drive in the third inning against Oakland yesterday, but the NL MVP and Cy Young Award winner finished a five-inning outing.
Kershaw turned awkwardly on the mound and raised his glove up to try to field Oakland's Andy Parrino's broken-bat liner. Instead, the ball struck the lefthander in the jaw. He slumped to his knees for a few seconds while teammates and trainers rushed to help.
"It felt like getting hit by a pitch," said Kershaw, who went down to the bullpen for some extra work after he left the game. "It's just sore. I feel fine."
After being examined by Dodgers head trainer Stan Conte and taking a warmup pitch, Kershaw got the next batter, Coco Crisp, on a lineout to second base then gave up an RBI single to Craig Gentry.
"At this point, with only a couple of starts left to build up the pitch count, it's pretty important to stay out there," Kershaw said. "Stan checked me out and I was OK. I just lost some tooth."
The tooth, from the back of his mouth, was recovered on the field.
Kershaw gave up three hits and a run in five innings. He struck out four.
"Thankfully he was fine," A's starter Sonny Gray said. "It shows you what a competitor he is, going back out in a spring-training game."