Jonathan Broxton barely holds on, notches sixth save

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By the skin of his teeth, Jonathan Broxton picked up his sixth save Friday after allowing one run in the ninth against the Padres.

Staying true to his word, manager Don Mattingly used Vicente Padilla in the eighth and saved Broxton for the ninth in a 3-1 game against the Padres.

It started out well enough, as Broxton got the first two batters he faced. However, he then allowed three straight singles, the first a flare into right and the next two grounders through the infield.

That brought up Nick Hundley, who hit a wicked liner into left field that certainly would been a go-ahead double if not for Mattingly’s decision to stick Tony Gwynn Jr. out there to begin the ninth. Gwynn made a terrific diving catch, ending the game.

Broxton was hitting 92-94 mph on the TV gun tonight, though Vin Scully was being fed 94-96 mph readings to the booth. He’s not spotting the fastball well at all, so he figures to remain very shaky for a while longer. As hard as Broxton had to work tonight, it’d be no surprise if the Dodgers bypassed him tomorrow and reserved Padilla for the ninth.

Clayton Kershaw completes spring training with a 0.00 ERA

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Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.

In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.

The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.

The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.