Dodgers-DBacks Game 1 Recap: Van Slyke Provides Offense, Kershaw Sharp
The regular season finally commenced as the Los Angeles Dodgers took on the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia as a part of MLB’s Opening Series 2014. Designated the visiting team, the Dodgers went up against left-hander Wade Miley. In the top of the first, they went down in order with Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner striking out and Hanley Ramirez grounding out.
Clayton Kershaw took the mound for the Dodgers and allowed a pair of hits, but was able to escape the inning without any damage, ending the inning with a groundout to Ramirez. The Dodgers struck first in the second inning after Adrian Gonzalez walked and Scott Van Slyke looked to have hit a two-run home run, but the ball was misplayed by left fielder Mark Trumbo and fell in for a double. Andre Ethier drove in the first run of the game with an RBI groundout to put the Dodgers up 1-0.
Kershaw settled down in his second inning and used a couple strikeouts to keep the DBacks off the board. Not much happened offensively in the third for the Dodger offense as they were retired in order. Kershaw continued to shut down the DBacks, throwing another scoreless inning in the bottom of the third. Gonzalez reached base in the fourth via a wild pitch on a strikeout and Van Slyke got the Dodgers on the board again, hitting a two-run home run down the right field line to give them a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, Kershaw continued to put up zeroes and the score remained 3-0 heading into the fifth. A.J. Ellis walked to lead off the inning and Turner added a single to bring up Ramirez. He grounded to third and Martin Prado made an error to load the bases, but Gonzalez struck out to end the threat. Kershaw came out for another inning and worked around a leadoff single to keep the DBacks off the board.
In the top of the sixth, the Dodgers went down in order against reliever Will Harris. Paul Goldschmidt led off the sixth with a double off Kershaw and moved to third on a wild pitch. A groundout to second base scored him and gave the DBacks their first run of the game to cut the Dodgers lead to 3-1, but that was all they would get. Kershaw remained in the game and got a hit to left field; however, he was thrown out at second trying to make it into a double. Puig struck out for the third time to end the seventh.
Kershaw came out for another inning with 91 pitches to begin the seventh. He sandwiched two strikeouts around an error by Turner and was removed with two outs in the inning after 101 pitches. He finished with 6.2 innings, allowing one run and striking out seven. Right-hander Chris Perez came in to relieve and retired his only batter on a fly out to right.
Brad Ziegler took the mound for the DBacks in the eighth. Gonzalez doubled with two outs followed by a Van Slyke walk, but Juan Uribe grounded into a fielders’ choice for the third out. Brian Wilson came out to throw the bottom half and struck out two en route to a perfect inning. Left-hander Oliver Perez came in relief for the DBacks and hit Ellis with a pitch with one out. Mike Baxter and Puig followed with a couple of fly outs to end the inning.
Kenley Jansen came on in the ninth inning and threw a scoreless frame, giving the Dodgers their first win of the 2014 season.
ICYMI: Dee Gordon talked about the Australia trip, music and postgame meals