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OC Register: Dodgers blank Angels in Freeway Series opener


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LOS ANGELES ― While Sunday’s Freeway Series opener might have catalyzed the Angels’ decision about who will claim the final spot in their starting rotation, the Dodgers might have found something special themselves.

Clayton Kershaw turned back the clock in his final regular season tuneup, tossing six shutout innings in the Dodgers’ 3-0 win over the Angels at Dodger Stadium.

The left-hander threw 74 pitches while limiting the Angels to three hits and no walks. He struck out seven batters, including Mike Trout in all three of his plate appearances.

One week after celebrating his 35th birthday, Kershaw finished the exhibition season with seven runs allowed across four starts, good for a 3.44 earned-run average.

The only clock Kershaw didn’t turn back Sunday? The new pitch timers, which caused the left-hander to be charged with two automatic balls, and led to one lengthy discussion between Kershaw and home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez between innings.

Back-to-back home runs by Max Muncy and Chris Taylor in the second inning provided Kershaw the only runs he needed to leave in line for the victory. Those were the only runs allowed by Angels starter Tucker Davidson, who was making his final bid for a rotation spot.

Davidson allowed one hit besides the two home runs, a single by Miguel Vargas on his 75th and final pitch. Davidson walked one batter and struck out one in 4 ⅓ innings.

Right-hander Jaime Barría, who’s also battling for the sixth starter’s job, allowed one run in 2 ⅔ innings, striking out four. The one run came on an eighth-inning home run by James Outman, who will make his first Opening Day roster Thursday.

Outman and Muncy each have hit three home runs this spring.

Yency Almonte, Brusdar Graterol and Shelby Miller each threw a scoreless inning of relief for the Dodgers.

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