Chris Hatcher earns Dodgers’ first save in place of Kenley Jansen
Dodgers second baseman Howie Kendrick is upended by Padres outfielder Justin Upton as he throws to first to complete a double play in the eighth inning.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw after his first strikeout of the season.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Fighter jets fly over Dodger Stadium for the opening game against the Padres.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers shortstop Jimmy Rollins hits a go-ahead, three-run home run against the Padres in the eighth inning on opening day.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers second baseman Howie Kendrick slides under the tag of Padres third baseman Will Middlebrooks for a triple in the fourth inning.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Padres pitcher Shawn Kelley, left, and first baseman Yonder Alonso collide on a popped up bunt in the eighth inning.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Former Dodger, current Padres right filelder, Matt Kemp can only watch fans cheer a three run homer hit by Jimmy Rollins in the eighth inning at Dodger Stadium.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Padres hitter Matt Kemp hits a two RBI double in the fifth inning at Dodger Stadium.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers shortstop Jimmy Rollins gets a curtain call after his go-ahead, three-run home run against the Padres in the eighth inning.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers shortstop Jimmy Rollins celebrates with teammates after hitting a three-run homer against the Padres in the eighth inning on opening day.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers centerfielder Joc Pederson tumbles after making a diving catch on a ball hit by Padres batter Will Middlebrooks in the sixth inning.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Former Dodger and current Padre outfielder Matt Kemp tips his helmet to the crowd on opening day at Dodger Stadium.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Chris Hatcher is pictured on opening day, when he picked up the save in a 6-3 victory over San Diego. But he has had his struggles, going 1-4 with a 6.38 earned-run average.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly greets his players while being introduced on opening day.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Padres outfielder Wil Myers scores a run against Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw in the first inning on opening day.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw makes a pitch in the first inning against the Padres on opening day at Dodger Stadium.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Former Dodgers pitchers Eric Gagne, Fernando Valenzuela (34) and Don Newcombe throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium on opening day.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Fans watch as the national anthem is sung at Dodger Stadium before the start of Opening Day against the Padres.(Christina House / For The Times)
Members of the San Diego Padres warm up before their opening day tilt against the Dodgers on Monday at Dodger Stadium.(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
San Diego outfielder Wil Myers scores on Matt Kemp single to give the Padres a 1-0 lead over the Dodgers in the first inning.(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Clayton Kershaw delivers a pitch during the first inning of the Dodgers’ opening day game against the San Diego Padres on Monday at Dodger Stadium.(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig makes a running catch to get San Diego first baseman Yonder Alonso out during the first inning.(Harry How / Getty Images)
San Diego outfielder Wil Myers steals second base in front of Howie Kendrick during the first inning of an opening day game Monday between the Padres and the Dodgers.(Harry How / Getty Images)
Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford breaks his bat at the plate as San Diego catcher Derek Norris is injured during the third inning of an opening day game between the Dodgers and the Padres.(Harry How / Getty Images)
Fans walk through a metal detector as they arrive for the Dodgers’ opening day game against the San Diego Padres on Monday at Dodger Staidum.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Fans walk through a metal detector as the arrive at Dodger Stadium before their team’s opening day game against the San Diego Padres.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
With Kenley Jansen in a walking boot and on the disabled list, Chris Hatcher became the first reliever called on to save a game in his place.
Hatcher did what was asked of him, recording the last three outs of the Dodgers’ season-opening, 6-3 victory over the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium.
Hatcher, who was acquired from the Miami Marlins in the off-season, had never saved a game in the major leagues.
“Being in Dodger Stadium like that was pretty electric,” Hatcher said.
The Dodgers came into the season with Manager Don Mattingly saying matchups would dictate who pitches the ninth inning in Jansen’s absence. Before the game Monday, Mattingly was vague about his bullpen plans for that day, not only with reporters, but also with his relievers, so much so that even Hatcher was surprised by his ninth-inning assignment.
“I wish I had that inclination,” Hatcher said. “I thought I might go to the back end, but to the ninth inning?”
Rookie Yimi Garcia pitched a perfect seventh inning and veteran Joel Peralta a scoreless eighth.
Hatcher had a shaky start, as the second pitch he threw struck Jedd Gyorko.
“I was probably too geeked up, too excited,” Hatcher said.
But Hatcher promptly forced Yonder Alonso to ground into a double play. He ended the game by striking out Clint Barmes with a 95-mph fastball.
“After I hit him, it settled me down,” Hatcher said. “It sounds funny, but it kind of reminds you you’re still playing a game.”
A new era
As was expected, rookie Joc Pederson started in center field, with Yasiel Puig in right and Carl Crawford in left.
Mattingly wouldn’t call Pederson an everyday player, but said, “You’re going to see Joc a lot in center field.”
Pederson prevented a likely extra-base hit by Will Middlebrooks in the sixth inning, when he made a diving catch in right-center field.
“I’m excited to see what we can do over the course of the season,” Clayton Kershaw said.
At the plate, the left-handed-hitting Pederson was one for three with a double and a steal. He also drew a leadoff walk in the eighth inning and scored on Jimmy Rollins’ game-deciding three-run home run.
“It’s been a long process,” Pederson said. “A lot of the hard work is paying off. I’m thankful for the coaches that have helped me and continue to help me. I still have a long way to go.”
On days Pederson doesn’t play, Mattingly said Scott Van Slyke or Andre Ethier would probably replace him. Mattingly said he prefers to keep Puig in one position rather than move him back and forth between right field and center.
Mattingly said he spoke to Ethier on Saturday about his role. Ethier said in the off-season that he wanted to be a starter this year, whether it was with the Dodgers or another team.
Mattingly acknowledged that Ethier might not be pleased to be a bench player again, but said, “Any step can change his whole situation. If one guy takes a bad step, turns an ankle, Andre’s playing every day.”
Puig made certain he wouldn’t be late for opening day this year, showing up to the Dodgers clubhouse at 7:25 a.m.
Puig was benched for the season opener last year because he was late for batting practice.
“He almost beat me here,” Mattingly said.
Puig had a relatively uneventful day. He was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts, but reached base twice, as he was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning and drew a walk in the eighth.
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