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Clayton Kershaw of Los Angeles Dodgers sharp in spring training debut

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PEORIA, Ariz. — Clayton Kershaw‘s spring debut was quick and efficient.

The Los Angeles Dodgers ace retired the Seattle Mariners‘ first three hitters on 11 pitches on Sunday. He then headed to the bullpen and threw another 15 or so pitches in a simulated inning.

“I felt good. It’s good to get back out there,” Kershaw said. “I felt better doing this one than I did in bullpens or stuff like that. With the crowd, facing a different team, it helps a little bit. Glad to get back out there. Even though it was just one inning, it felt good to get back out there.”

Kershaw was pitching for the first time since a four-inning relief stint in the Dodgers’ 5-1 loss to the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the World Series on Nov. 1.

The lefty, who will turn 30 during spring training, went 18-4 with a 2.31 ERA in the regular season and then 3-1 in his five postseason starts. He was the Game 1 winner in the World Series, but he blew a four-run lead and didn’t make it out of the fifth inning of Game 5, which the Astros won 13-12 in 10 innings.

Even before his bullpen session on the first official day of workouts, Kershaw had already been tabbed by manager Dave Roberts to make his Dodgers-record eighth start on opening day.

“Very positive for Clayton,” Roberts said. “Fastball command good; threw some strike curveballs, which was good to see. Everything he wanted out of this outing, he got.”

Kershaw retired Ben Gamel on a comebacker, got Jean Segura to fly out to left and then retired Robinson Cano on a grounder.

Kershaw said pitching coach Rick Honeycutt likes to add on an inning in the bullpen after spring starts.

“It seems like a good segue into your next start,” said Kershaw, who has won the National League Cy Young Award three times as well as the NL MVP Award in 2014.

The Mariners won 2-0.

Also Sunday, the Seager brothers, Corey and Kyle, faced each other for the first time in their big league careers. Corey was the Dodgers’ designated hitter, while Kyle, who at 30 is seven years older, played third base for the Mariners.

“It’s really cool,” Corey Seager said. “It’s hard to think about just because it’s him. You’ve been around him all your life, watched him play a ton. It’s still weird. You still kind of feel like a fan in the stands watching, even though you’re in the dugout. It’s a really cool moment.”

When the lefty-hitting Corey Seager batted in the first inning, the Mariners put on a shift, opening a big hole at third.

Asked if he thought about dropping in a bunt or something past his brother, he said: “You’ve got to save your free knocks during the year, right, when they count. You catch them off guard when they count, not now.”

Corey Seager said it has been “bad timing, I guess” that the brothers hadn’t faced each other in spring training before, usually because one of them had the day off when their teams played.

This was the only time the teams will play each other this spring.

The Mariners and Dodgers last played in the regular season in April 2015. Corey Seager made his big league debut Sept. 3 that year.

The Dodgers will play at the Mariners Aug. 17-19.

Corey Seager, the 2016 NL Rookie of the Year, said the siblings’ parents weren’t able to come out from North Carolina for this game, but they will for the series in Seattle.

“That one’s already on the schedule. They’ll make it out for that one, for sure,” he said. “There will be a lot of people there, actually, probably.”

Kyle Seager, who made his big league debut in July 2011, said this was the second time he saw his younger brother play since Corey was 11. The other time was when the Dodgers were in the World Series this past fall.

Corey Seager said he still considers his older brother a role model.

“I still ask him for help, I still ask him about things,” he said. “I don’t think I really ever will stop asking him. He always will be and still is.”

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Follow live: Bellinger, Dodgers seek 2-0 series lead

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Los Angeles Dodgers’ Game 1 win of World Series draws record-low viewers

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ARLINGTON, Texas — The Los Angeles Dodgers‘ victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 drew a record-low audience of television viewers for a World Series game.

Los Angeles’ 8-3 win received a 5.1 rating and was seen by an average of 9,195,000 viewers on Fox from 8:06 p.m. to 11:41 p.m. EDT on Tuesday night, Nielsen Media Research said Wednesday.

The previous low had been set the only other time the Rays were in the World Series, when their 5-4 loss to Philadelphia in Game 3 in 2008 was viewed by an average of 9,836,000 that Oct. 25, a Saturday night.

Until now, the low for a Game 1 had been San Francisco’s 7-1 win over Kansas City on Oct. 21, 2012, viewed by an average of 12,191,000 on a Tuesday night.

Washington’s 5-4 victory over Houston in last year’s opener was seen by an average of 12,283,000 on Oct. 22, also a Tuesday night.

Still, Fox won the prime-time evening with its best performance on a Tuesday night since Game 6 of last year’s World Series.

The rating is the percentage of television households tuned in to a broadcast.

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Tampa Bay Rays add two lefty hitters to lineup for Game 2

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Austin Meadows is leading off as the designated hitter for Tampa Bay and first baseman Ji-Man Choi is in the cleanup spot for the Rays in Game 2 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

With rookie right-hander Tony Gonsolin on the mound for the Dodgers on Wednesday night, the left-handed hitters Meadows and Choi were in the lineup after not starting the series opener against lefty Clayton Kershaw. The Rays had five left-handers in the batting order.

Left-hander Blake Snell, the 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner, is starting for the Rays after right-hander Tyler Tyler Glasnow opened Game 1.

Kike Hernandez, who entered Tuesday’s 8-3 Dodgers win as a pinch-hitter after Glasnow was out of the game, is getting the Game 2 start at second base. Chris Taylor moves to left field, with AJ Pollock the DH and Will Smith the catcher after being the DH in Game 1.

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