Spring is officially here and that means that baseball season will soon be in full swing. This years season opener took place down under in Sydney, Australia where a crowd of nearly 40,000 watched the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Arizona Diamondbacks. Los Angeles, the defending National League West Champions, picked up where they left off last season by defeating Arizona 3-1.
With the defending Cy Young Winner, Clayton Kershaw, on the mound the Dodgers made easy work of the Diamondbacks by scoring early. Kershaw, in his fourth consecutive opening day start, allowed five hits and one run in 6 2/3 innings of work.
Opposing Kershaw was Arizona pitcher Wade Miley, who got moved up to opening day because of an elbow injury to Diamondbacks ace Patrick Corbin. The 27-year old Miley gave up three runs and three hits while racking up eight strike outs. One of the runs was courtesy of Scott Van Slyke, whose two-run homer in the fourth inning was not only the first home run of the season, but also put the Dodgers ahead 3-0.
“I thought that it was either going to be a foul or caught,” Van Slyke said. “I didn’t think it had a chance to go out. I felt more relaxed and had a little more energy and focus than I did in the exhibition games.”
The Diamondbacks finally got on the board in the sixth inning after a Paul Goldschmidt double led to a fielder’s choice ground out and Goldschmidt scoring from third. Both teams finished the game with five hits.
Thunderstorms and rain showers delayed the start of the game, but after a 14 minute game delay the first of a two-game series went on without any problems.
“Sometimes you just need the adrenaline of a regular-season game, and I just kind of feel relieved to get this one under my belt,” Kershaw said.
The final game will take place late Saturday night as Dodgers left hander Hyun-Jin Ryu will take on Arizona’s Trevor Cahill. After the game in Sydney, both teams will fly back to America in anticipation of Opening Night on March 30th where the Dodgers will take on the Padres at Petco Park.