Clayton Kershaw took the hill on Thursday night for the first time since the World Series, but he was nearly 1,400 miles from Dodgers Stadium.
Making the Opening Night rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City, the Dodgers ace allowed a pair of runs on four hits and two walks while striking out six over 4 1/3 innings in a 5-3 loss to San Antonio at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Video: Kershaw strikes out Hiura
"I feel good," Kershaw said in his postgame news conference. "It was a good first step. Got through everything I needed to, got up to that fifth inning, got some guys on base, worked out of the stretch, did multiple different things. So it was a good day."
The Dodgers placed Kershaw on the 10-day injured list retroactive to March 25 with left shoulder inflammation. After throwing 161 1/3 frames in the regular season last year, the veteran southpaw logged 30 more in six postseason appearances.
With Oklahoma City, Kershaw ran into immediate trouble as No. 2 Brewers prospect Corey Ray battled for a nine-pitch walk to open the game. He quickly settled in, however, getting fifth-ranked Mauricio Dubon to pop to second base on the first pitch, then picking off Ray at first before striking out Keston Hiura -- MLB.com's No. 20 overall prospect, on a 1-2 off-speed pitch.
Gameday box score
Kershaw surrendered a leadoff homer in the second to Brewers No. 29 prospect Tyrone Taylor before issuing a five-pitch walk to 13th-ranked Troy Stokes Jr. Two outs later, No. 16 prospect Jacob Nottingham lined an RBI single to right.
Kershaw fanned four of the next five hitters, allowing a two-out single in the third to Hiura, who was making his Triple-A debut. In the fourth, Stokes led off with a line drive single to left but was quickly erased as No. 8 prospect Lucas Erceg grounded into a double play. The three-time Cy Young Award winner retired the next two batters before being lifted after throwing 61 pitches, 42 for strikes.
2019 MiLB include
"Come out of it feeling good and get ready for the next day," Kershaw said. "I'd love to pitch the next one with the Dodgers, but I also don't want to put the bullpen at risk or anything with a pitch count that's too low. So most likely probably another one [here]."
Sixth-ranked Dodgers prospect Will Smith doubled, walked and scored for Oklahoma City, while No. 13 prospect Edwin Rios laced a game-tying RBI double to center in the sixth.
Missions starter Adrian Houser, the Brewers' No. 15 prospect, allowed a hit and walk while striking out six over five scoreless frames.
Pinch-hitter Jake Hager was the hero for San Antonio, delivering a go-ahead two-run triple with two outs in the ninth before scoring on a wild pitch.