Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp is congratulated by his teammates after… (Lenny Ignelzi / Associated…)
SAN DIEGO -- One game into the season and Clayton Kershaw is already sick of the Padres. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Either way, it all worked out for the Dodgers.
Kershaw had the flu Thursday, started the season opener at Petco Park anyway, and lasted three innings. This being Kershaw, they were still three scoreless innings.
With Matt Kemp acting like it was 2011 all over again and hitting a two-run homer, the Dodgers wrapped up the opener with a 5-3 victory.
The game was scoreless after three innings, but Kershaw was done, leaving for a pinch hitter in the fourth. He gave up two hits and a walk, with three strikeouts.
The Dodgers, however, rallied with a pair of runs in the fourth. Anyway, they scored a pair of runs. Both were forced in with bases-loaded walks.
Kemp singled and took second on a wild pitch before right-hander Edinson Volquez walked Andre Ethier. A broken-bat single by Juan Rivera loaded the bases.
Volquez then pretty much lost all control. He walked James Loney to force in the game’s first run. He threw a pitch past catcher Nick Hundley that went to the backstop. Ethier tried to score from third, but was called out by home plate umpire Gary Darling, though replays showed he was safe.
If the Dodgers were struggling to find hits, Volquez came to the rescue by walking Juan Uribe and then A.J. Ellis to force in a second run.
The Dodgers went up 3-0 in the fifth on a pair of San Diego errors. Dee Gordon’s drive off Cameron Maybin’s glove left him at third, from where he scored when Jason Bartlett booted a hard grounder hit by Kemp.
It’s not like anyone is predicting the Padres will be a great club this season.
San Diego got one back in the sixth on a walk and double by Jesus Guzman off Mike MacDougal, but the Dodgers took their 5-1 lead in the eighth against reliever Brad Bach after Mark Ellis doubled and Kemp hit a two-run, opposite-field homer that just cleared the right-field wall.
With Kershaw taking an early exit, the Dodgers’ bullpen got an opening-day workout.
Josh Lindblom pitched two scoreless innings, MacDougal allowed the one run in his only inning and Matt Guerrier threw a scoreless seventh inning.
Kenley Jansen, however, did not fare so well. After an infield hit, he gave up a rocket to Maybin, who drilled a two-run homer that bounced off the third-floor façade on the Western Metal Supply Co. building in left field.
Javy Guerra also picked up where he left off, putting the Padres down in the ninth inning to earn the save.
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