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Hicks, Escobar shine in contest vs. Dodgers

Second baseman slugs homer; starter allows one run in three innings

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Hicks, Escobar shine in contest vs. Dodgers play video for Hicks, Escobar shine in contest vs. Dodgers

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw allowed a two-run homer to Brandon Hicks, but the Dodgers rallied before falling to the Giants, 3-2, in front of a standing-room-only crowd at Camelback Ranch on Sunday.

Edwin Escobar started for the Giants and pitched three innings, overcoming four walks while allowing one run. Non-roster pitcher Jason Berken followed with three scoreless innings.

"My first inning, I was trying to keep my ball down, but [I had] a little bit of adrenaline," Escobar said. "It got a little exciting. After I got my first inning, I felt more comfortable. Everything was true, and I felt better than the first inning."

Kershaw threw 70 pitches in five innings, allowing five hits with one strikeout, but it was still his best start of the spring, having coming into the game with an ERA of 18.00. He was announced the Opening Day starter before Sunday's game.

"The results were a little bit better," Kershaw said, comparing this game to earlier starts. "Still things I need to work on. For the most part, a positive step in the right direction."

The Dodgers scored in the first inning after a walk to Chone Figgins, who stole second, went to third on A.J. Ellis' groundout and came home on first baseman Brandon Belt's throwing error.

Los Angeles tied the game in the seventh against Dan Runzler on singles by prospects Corey Seager and Joc Pederson, then walks to Scott Van Slyke and Drew Butera. Red Patterson issued a bases-loaded walk of his own in the eighth to give the Giants the lead.

Yasiel Puig returned from a day away on a personal matter to go 1-for-3 with a double.

Defensively, Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval made a backhand stop of a Puig shot down the line in the fifth inning and threw him out, saving two runs.

Up next: The Giants welcome Barry Bonds to camp as a special instructor, with Monday marking his first day with the club. Bonds will speak with the media in the morning, and right-hander Matt Cain will get the start in the afternoon, when San Francisco hosts the Cubs at Scottsdale Stadium at 1:05 p.m. PT. Both Hunter Pence (left shoulder) and Michael Morse (right calf) are hoping to return to the lineup.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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