If the Dodgers are going to surprise their doubters this year, it figures it has to be with pitching. No one is expecting them to be an offensive juggernaut.
For openers, that’s pretty much the way it went down.
The Dodgers got a masterful opening night start by Clayton Kershaw, one shut-out inning by Hong-Chih Kuo, and one shaky ninth by Jonathan Broxton to edge the Giants, 2-1, in their 2011 season opener Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.
Kershaw threw seven shutout innings, struck out out nine and gave up only four hits and one walk. He needed to be that good, because he was nearly matched by two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum.
Lincecum allowed only one unearned run in his seven innings.
The Dodgers scored their first run on a pair of San Francisco errors in the sixth, and then added one more on a James Loney double off reliever Santiago Casilla in the eighth.
Broxton came on in the ninth, and with one out, Pat Burrrell made plenty of Dodger fans nervous, driving a solo home run to left.
Broxton then retired Miguel Tejada on a tapper and rookie Brandon Belt on a soft liner to Juan Uribe at third base to end the game.
The victory made a winner out of Don Mattingly in is debut as a manager.