As the Dodgers were saying, they just love the idea of going to Australia. They should make it an annual event. Zack Greinke feels all left out. Maybe they’ll bring him back a stuffed koala bear or something.
What they are coming back with is a 2-0 record after sweeping their two-game, season-opening series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday following a 7-5 victory in that oldest ballpark in the majors, the Sydney Cricket Ground.
With Hyun-Jin Ryu holding the team-that-would-be-their-rivals scoreless in his five innings and the offense putting together a 13-hit attack, the Dodgers looked a lot like the team favored by many to be the last standing in the National League.
Deep and dangerous.
They certainly didn’t play a perfect game -- there were base-running mistakes, fielding miscues and 13 runners left on base -- but they did plenty enough right to make the trip Down Under a memorable one.
Dee Gordon, Yasiel Puig and Juan Uribe had three hits each, and the bullpen followed Ryu by holding Arizona to one run over three innings before faltering in the ninth.
Arizona’s Trevor Cahill was 6-0 with a lifetime 2.01 earned-run average against the Dodgers, and he couldn’t get an out in the fourth. He gave up five runs on eight hits and four walks. The Dodgers own this continent.
Cahill’s was far from the sharp effort turned in by Ryu. In Ryu’s five innings, he allowed only two hits and a walk, striking out five.
He was followed by Chris Withrow, Paco Rodriguez, Jamey Wright, J.P. Howell and Jose Dominguez, who struggled in the ninth, giving up three runs on two hits and two walks. That forced Paul Maholm to make his Dodgers debut in the ninth. It was only Maholm’s second relief appearance in his 10 major league seasons.
Kenley Jansen came on to get the final out, but not before first giving up a two-run homer to ex-Angel Mark Trumbo.