Dodgers hold off Padres, Jake Peavy


How could that be true?

“No way,” Russell Martin said. “I don’t believe that.”

How could the Dodgers’ 4-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on opening day mark the first loss they’ve pinned on Jake Peavy in more than five seasons?

How could something that felt so casual have taken so long to happen?

Everything fell into place Monday at Petco Park for the Dodgers, who scored early, added to their lead on a seventh-inning home run by Matt Kemp and received 3 1/3 scoreless innings from a bullpen that was viewed with widespread skepticism long before the season started.

“We couldn’t have drawn it up any better than that,” Manager Joe Torre said.

Well, almost.

Warming up for the ninth inning in his first opening day as the Dodgers’ closer, Jonathan Broxton drilled Martin in his protective cup.


“I spiked a slider,” Broxton said.

Martin couldn’t -- or wouldn’t -- dismiss the episode with a shrug of a shoulder the way Broxton did.

“At that moment in time,” Martin said, “I wanted to retire.”

Martin stayed in the game to catch Broxton as he struck out two batters in a one-two-three inning and ended the game by blowing a 99-mph fastball by Luis Rodriguez.

“He throws a heavy ball,” Martin said. “They all feel like they’re going to go through my glove.”

Broxton said he knew he was throwing hard -- so much so that he didn’t bother to look back at the radar gun postings on the electronic scoreboard embedded in the left-field wall.

Martin said it was clear from Broxton’s demeanor that this game meant something special to him. Broxton, however, denied feeling anything abnormal.

Broxton said he didn’t have any butterflies fluttering in his stomach. He said he slept fine Sunday night.


“Probably because of the experience I had last year,” he said, referring to when he replaced the injured Takashi Saito.

Torre was also in a reflective mood.

He talked about how little he knew a year ago about Cory Wade, who on this day rescued starter Hiroki Kuroda by forcing Kevin Kouzmanoff to ground out with the bases loaded to end the sixth inning.

He talked about the doubts he had about Hong-Chih Kuo, who tossed a scoreless eighth inning.

And he talked about how he called Kemp into his office last year to explain to him why he wouldn’t get the chance to face Peavy.

“A lot has changed,” Torre said.

Kemp waited for his pitch on Monday, sending a down-the-middle fastball high over the center-field wall to extend the Dodgers’ lead to 4-1.

Martin chalked up the offensive output to the increased maturity of the Dodgers’ young hitters.


“Selectively aggressive,” Martin said. “Even Kemp, you see his pitch recognition is better.”

The Dodgers didn’t waste any time getting to Peavy, who had not lost to them since Sept. 13, 2002. Rafael Furcal and Orlando Hudson led off with singles and scored on a two-run single by James Loney, who was three for four.

The Padres scored a run in the bottom half of the inning, but Manny Ramirez, who had a relatively quiet game, increased the lead to two in the third.

Ramirez drew a two-out walk from Peavy and advanced to second when a pick-off throw by the onetime Cy Young Award winner sailed by first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Andre Ethier drove in Ramirez with a single.

Asked about beating Peavy, Kemp shrugged. “I guess we got tired of people saying he owned us,” he said.