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Kershaw won't start 1st opener in 9 yrs.

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Clayton Kershaw won't be starting for the Los Angeles Dodgers on opening day, ending his streak of pitching eight straight openers.

Manager Dave Roberts announced the decision on Monday.

Kershaw has dealt with left shoulder inflammation during spring training, and has yet to pitch in a game. The left-hander is scheduled to throw live batting practice on Wednesday, but there are no plans in place after that.

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Yanks, LHP Gonzalez agree on minors deal

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) The New York Yankees reached into the remainder of the free-agent market to bolster their ailing rotation, agreeing Monday to a minor league contract with Gio Gonzalez.

If added to the 40-man roster, the 33-year-old left-hander would get a $3 million salary while in the major leagues and the chance to earn performance bonuses. He was a far cheaper alternative to higher-priced options such as Dallas Keuchel.

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Clark lauds Jays for raising minors pay

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) Union head Tony Clark lauded the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday for giving minor league players a 50 percent raise, and he hopes other clubs do the same.

Representatives from the players' association visited the Blue Jays spring training camp a day after The Athletic reported the team planned to boost pay for all minor leaguers, some making as little as $1,100 a month during the five-month season. By comparison, the major league minimum is $555,000 per year, and the top players make over $30 million annually.

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Reds expect LHP Wood to open on IL

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) The Cincinnati Reds expect left-hander Alex Wood to open the season on the injured list as he recovers from a sore back that has limited him during spring training.

Wood was part of the trade that brought outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to Cincinnati from the Los Angeles Dodgers. He made one spring training start before his back tightened, and had a setback when he resumed throwing last week.

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Rangers' Mendez out until at least June

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) The Texas Rangers' fear that pitcher Yohander Mendez would miss the entire 2019 season was allayed on Monday when an MRI revealed the 24-year-old had a Grade 1 sprain of the left ulnar collateral ligament.

"It's really good news. I think we dodged a bullet," assistant general manager Shiraz Rehman said. "There's some inflammation and some fluid in there, but no surgery at all. At his point, six weeks of no throw, and then we'll build him back up."

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Teheran starts 6th Braves opener in row

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) Atlanta Braves right-hander Julio Teheran is set to make his sixth straight start on opening day.

The Braves said Monday that Teheran will face the Phillies on March 28 in Philadelphia.

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Bucs' Kang, Gonzalez win starting jobs

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) Jung Ho Kang and Erik Gonzalez have won starting jobs in the infield with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

General manager Neal Huntington said Monday that Kang has beaten out Colin Moran at third base and Erik Gonzalez has won the shortstop competition over Kevin Newman.

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Amid Ichiro hoopla, A's also in Japan

TOKYO (AP) Amid all the hoopla surrounding Ichiro Suzuki's return to Japan with the Seattle Mariners, it's been easy to overlook something else: the Oakland Athletics are here, too.

The A's are used to being seen as the also-rans, and even relish it. They were a playoff team last season - not the Mariners. And when "Ichiromania" subsides after the season-opening games in the Tokyo Dome on Wednesday and Thursday, the A's will again be under-the-radar favorites.

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Ex-OF Stanton dies at 72 in car crash

FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) A South Carolina man killed in a car crash last week has been identified as a former Major League Baseball player who was a member of the Seattle Mariners during its inaugural season.

News outlets report Florence County Coroner Keith von Lutcken says 72-year-old Leroy Stanton was killed March 13 when he disregarded a stop sign, hit a tree and was ejected from his pickup truck. Troopers say he wasn't wearing a seatbelt at the time.

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