Rancho Cucamonga, CA - Clayton Kershaw dazzled in front of a sellout crowd at LoanMart Field, but Rancho's bullpen faltered in a 6-3 loss to the Lancaster JetHawks on Friday night.
Fans waited outside the ballpark hours before first pitch to see Kershaw make his first professional start since March 22 against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia. This was Kershaw's first career rehab start in seven years as an MLB player.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner was dominant in five innings of work for the Quakes. He struck out six batters while only walking one. He threw seven or fewer pitches in three of his five innings on the mound. He only allowed two hits, one of which was a fifth-inning solo home run to Lancaster shortstop Carlos Perdomo.
Rancho (6-16) took an early lead in the top of the first inning thanks to Jonathan Garcia's third home run in five games with the Quakes this year. Rancho doubled that advantage with a leadoff homer from Rob Garvey in the fourth inning. It was only Garvey's ninth career home run and his first with the Quakes.
Kershaw left the game with a 2-1 lead and in position to take the victory, but Lancaster (14-8) scored a pair of runs off of reliever Geoff Brown (0-1, 3.46 ERA) to take a one-run lead in the sixth inning. The JetHawks added three more against Julio Urias in the seventh. Urias walked four men and gave up a hit in two-thirds of an inning. Brandon Meredith's two-run single put Lancaster up 6-2.
Rancho could only muster one run off of Lance McCullers, who picked up his second save of the year with four innings of relief. Starter Kyle Smith (4-0, 2.63) picked up the win for Lancaster.
The Quakes are back in action against Lancaster tomorrow night at 7:05 pm. Righty Chris Devenski (1-2, 4.19 ERA) gets the ball for the JetHawks against Lindsey Caughel (0-2, 5.48). After the game, fans at LoanMart Field will be treated to a Fireworks show courtesy of ScholarShare. Tickets are available by calling (909) 481-5000 or going online to rcquakes.com. We hope to see you at LoanMart Field very soon. Go Quakes!