The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres, 6-3, in their season opener Monday at Dodger Stadium. Jimmy Rollins, acquired by the Dodgers in a trade with the Phillies in the off-season, hit a three-run home run in the eighth inning to propel the team to victory.
Dodgers open season in fine fashion
Dodgers new, old and former all made it interesting Monday in the 2015 season opener
But by the time Clayton Kershaw had sat and Matt Kemp was done driving in runs for the Padres, it was left to one of those legion of new Dodgers to come up big.
Jimmy Rollins, playing in his first game with the Dodgers after spending his entire career with the Phillies, made his local debut a memorable one, hitting a three-run homer in the eighth inning to lift the Dodgers to a 6-3 victory over the Padres before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 53,518.
Chris Hatcher filled in as the closer in the ninth, and after hitting his first batter, held the Padres scoreless to earn his first career save.
Howie Kendrick joined the new-guy success story, going two for four with an RBI. Adrian Gonzalez had three hits, including a solo home run.
Kemp drove in all three runs for the Padres, all coming against Kershaw. The left-hander went six innings, allowing the three runs on six hits. He struck out nine and walked two.
The victory went to another new Dodger, Joel Peralta, who threw a scoreless eighth inning.
Dodgers open season with victory
First career save for Hatcher. Dodgers win, 6-3.— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) April 6, 2015
Dodgers defeat Padres, 6-3
#Dodgers win, 6-3. Win (Peralta), save (Hatcher), game-winning hit (Rollins) all by players acquired in trade last winter.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) April 6, 2015
Whooping with pride
End of eighth: Dodgers jump to 6-3 lead
Joel Peralta made his debut as a Dodger in the top of the eighth and pitched a scoreless inning. He gave up a one-out single to Justin Upton, but induced Will Middlebrooks to hit into a 5-4-3 double play.
Kelley continued to pitch for the Padres in the bottom of the inning, and he immediately walked Joc Pederson. But A.J. Ellis was unable to get a sacrifice bunt down, instead popping it up to first baseman Yonder Alonso.
Andre Ethier pinch-hit and, on a full count, hit a tapper to Alonso, who twice fumbled the ball before under-handing it to a covering Kelley. The toss still would have been in time to nip Ethier, but when Kelley went to stab the base he came up inches short of the bag. Ethier was safe on what was ruled a Kelley error.
It was the opening the Dodgers needed.
Jimmy Rollins fell behind 0-2 in the count, worked it full, fouled off a pair of pitches and then launched a three-run homer into the right-field stands.
Jimmy Rollins hits three-run homer
Three-run home run by Jimmy Rollins. Dodgers move in front, 6-3.— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) April 6, 2015
Jimmy Rollins wins the 3-way trade.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) April 6, 2015
Chris Erskine is finally full, but Jerome Campbell is stepping up his concessions coverage.
End of seventh: Dodgers 3, Padres 3
The bullpens took over in the seventh, which in theory, should have been bad news for the Dodgers.
First up was Yimi Garcia, the young right-hander who had been so impressive (15 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings) for the Dodgers in the spring. Garcia had no troubles his first time up, retiring the Padres in order with two strikeouts.
Right-hander Nick Vincent took over for James Shields in the bottom of the inning. He got two quick outs before Adrian Gonzalez doubled down the right-field line. It was his third hit of the game.
Howie Kendrick then lined a hit to right-center that Matt Kemp took an odd route to and it fell for a run-scoring double. The Padres called on left-hander Frank Garces, the Dodgers countering with pinch-hitter Scott Van Slyke.
Garces intentionally walked Van Slyke, and the Padres went to right-hander Shawn Kelley to face Juan Uribe, who bounced out on the first pitch he saw.
Shields allowed two runs on six hits and two walks, with eight strikeouts in his six hits.
Dodgers fans boo Matt Kemp
Soak in the scene
Watch fans show support for the Dodgers on opening day.
Howie Kendrick ties game, 3-3
This is Dodgers organ player Nancy Bea Hefley's moment of glory: The 28-year veteran's workload has been reduced to one song, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," during the actual game.
Former Dodgers off to a strong start
It's been a great opening day for the Dodgers... Er, uh, better make that ex-Dodgers.
Matt Kemp has made a triumphant return to Dodger Stadium, driving in all three runs for the San Diego Padres, who lead the Dodgers, 3-2, after six innings.
Hanley Ramirez had a couple of hits for the Boston Red Sox in his debut. A couple of looong hits.
Both were home runs. A solo shot to left-center field in the fifth inning, and a grand slam to left in the ninth inning to finish off an 8-0 Red Sox victory over the Phillies in Philadelphia.
Dee Gordon also has a hit and a run batted in for his new team, the Miami Marlins, who trail the Atlanta Braves, 2-1, in the seventh inning.
End of sixth: Padres 3, Dodgers 2
That's the ballgame for Clayton Kershaw. He gave up a pair of walks in the sixth, and by the time he struck out Clint Barmes to end the inning, he was at 99 pitches. Kershaw allowed three runs on six hits, two walks and struck out nine.
Joc Pederson collected his first hit of the season in the bottom of the inning when he doubled to right with one out. Pederson caught James Shields napping and stole third, but A.J. Ellis struck out.
Justin Turner pinch-hit for Kershaw but struck out on a check swing.
Right-hander Yimi Garcia then became the Dodgers' first reliever of the season.
Clayton Kershaw closes in on 100 pitches
Watch Adrian Gonzalez hit first homer of season
Location, location, location
Just one level down on Loge, the men's bathroom line extends around the corner to the drinks bar. pic.twitter.com/E1xwmtq2sc— Jerome Campbell (@JeromeRCampbell) April 6, 2015
End of fifth: Padres 3, Dodgers 2
Safe to say, Matt Kemp is enjoying his return to Dodger Stadium.
Kemp came up with runners on and delivered again in the top of the fifth. Clint Barmes led off the inning with a double to left, partially misplayed by Carl Crawford. Kershaw thought he'd pitched his way out of the inning when he struck out James Shields -- who's spent his entire career in the American League -- and Wil Myers. Derek Norris then hit a bouncer to third baseman Juan Uribe.
But Norris is faster than your average catcher, and when Uribe double pumped before throwing, Norris beat the throw for an infield hit. Kemp then doubled to left on the first pitch he saw to drive in both runs.
Kershaw got Justin Upton to bounce out to short for the third out.
The Dodgers threatened in the bottom of the inning when Shields hit Yasiel Puig with a pitch on the hand with one out. Adrian Gonzalez singled to move Puig to second. Howie Kendrick hit into a force out and Carl Crawford struck out, stranding the runners.
Padres move back into lead, 3-2
Matt Kemp drives in two more runs with a fifth-inning double. Padres back in front, 3-2.— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) April 6, 2015
Matt Kemp: all 3 RBI as Padres lead Kershaw, 3-2.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) April 6, 2015
End of fourth: Dodgers 2, Padres 1
Clayton Kershaw got two quick outs to start the fourth before Jedd Gyorko doubled into right. Two of San Diego's hits have been doubles. Kershaw got himself out of trouble by striking out first baseman Yonder Alonso.
Through four innings, Kershaw has thrown 59 pitches. He's struck out six, without walking a batter.
The Dodgers tied the game in a hurry in the bottom of the inning when Adrian Gonzalez hit the Dodgers' first home run of the season into the right-field seats just inside the foul pole. Gonzalez led the Dodgers in home runs last season with 27.
Howie Kendrick followed the homer with another deep shot to center. Wil Myers retreated, and despite wearing sunglasses, at the last second appeared to lose the ball in the sun. It landed just beyond his glove and off the wall for a triple.
Carl Crawford then laced a double to center to score Kendrick with the go-ahead run. Shields avoided further trouble when Juan Uribe bounced out, Joc Pederson popped up, and after an intentional walk to A.J. Ellis, he struck out Kershaw.
The inning took Shields 23 pitches, bringing his total to 62.
Erskine is somehow still eating food
Last-minute tickets didn't pan out
Ruben "El Pech" Aguirre and his son, who started their opening day festivities at a party in Echo Park, were left outside Dodger Stadium at the beginning of the game. They weren't able to buy last-minute tickets.
"There's nothing that I can do now," Aguirre said. "We're just going to have to wait until our friends are out of the game."
His son Ruben, 12, pulled down his Dodgers cap and played with his phone. "It's not a big deal."
Dodgers take 2-1 lead in fourth inning
Adrian Gonzalez ties game for Dodgers
Adrian Gonzalez hits home run in fourth to tie game, 1-1.
Adrian Gonzalez ties the game, 1-1, with a solo home run to lead off the fourth inning.— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) April 6, 2015
Looks like there's no bubble machine this year.— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) April 6, 2015
End of third: Padres 1, Dodgers 0
The Padres managed their second hit of the game with two outs in the top of the third when Derek Norris lined a double over Joc Pederson's head in left-center. This time, Clayton Kershaw held Matt Kemp in check, getting him to bounce out to third.
The Dodgers again came up empty in the bottom of the inning. A.J. Ellis struck out and Kershaw bounced back to James Shields before Jimmy Rollins drew a full-count walk. Rollins stole his first base as a Dodger before Shields got Yasiel Puig to ground out to short.
Shields had retired eight straight until giving up the walk to Rollins, the only Dodger to reach first through three innings.