Everything appeared to be falling into place for the Red Sox on Monday night after Adrian Gonzalez delivered a go-ahead three-run homer off White Sox left-hander Leyson Septimo in the bottom of the eighth inning, plating David Ortiz and Carl Crawford, who was making his long-awaited season debut. However, the club was dealt another tough blow before Gonzalez even touched home plate.
Ortiz pulled up lame after rounding second base on Gonzalez’s blast and limped his way into home plate and the dugout. According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, the veteran slugger suffered a right Achilles injury and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Tuesday. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said early indications are that he didn’t suffer a tear or strain, so the hope right now is that he’ll only have to miss a few games.
Ortiz was understandably frustrated after the game, saying, “This (expletive) team is cursed.” However, he later said, “I think I’ll be all right.”
Ortiz, 36, is hitting .316/.414/.609 with 23 home runs, 58 RBI and a 1.024 OPS in 89 games played this season.
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.