Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers had their modest two-game winning streak snapped with an 8-2 loss to the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium. L.A. mustered only four hits and fell to 4-6-4 this spring.
The Dodgers now have an off day Friday before heading back to Camelback Ranch to face the San Francisco Giants in their Cactus League finale.
After that, L.A. will break camp and return to Southern California for the annual exhibition Freeway Series to conclude Spring Training.
With Opening Day exactly one week away, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts wants to see collective improvement from his players, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“Individually, there have been some guys that have had good camps. But overall it just needs to get better. … The season isn’t going to wait for us. We’ve got to get going.”
The Dodgers entered Friday with a .400 winning percentage this spring, which is the fourth-lowest among teams in the Cactus League. While that’s far from ideal, Spring Training records generally aren’t good indicators of success.
For one, regular players don’t play full games as they are replaced by Minor Leaguers. What’s more, many players use the exhibition schedule to work on different parts of their game, whether it be changing their batting stance or experimenting with new pitches.
That being said, it’s hard to fault Roberts for wanting to see better results from his players in the final days of Spring Training as they can ride the momentum into the regular season.
Kershaw starting for Dodgers in Cactus League finale vs. Giants
When the Dodgers return to the field against the Giants, Clayton Kershaw will be on the mound for his final tuneup before the regular season. In three starts this spring, the left-hander has posted a 3.52 ERA and 0.65 WHIP with seven strikeouts against two walks across 7.2 innings pitched.
With Walker Buehler starting against the Colorado Rockies on Opening Day, Kershaw could follow him in the second game at Coors Field on six days’ rest. However, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has not yet announced the rotation order behind Buehler.
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