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Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw defeat Giants, 4-0, in opener

April 01, 2013|By Mike Hiserman
  • Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw hits a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants.
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw hits a solo home run against the San Francisco… (Jae C. Hong / Associated…)

You would have thought the white-haired guy in the bright blue shirt with the white trim was Clayton Kershaw's agent ... or his biggest fan.

When the Dodgers' ace hit the first home run of his five-year career leading off the eighth inning in the season opener Monday, the man, who was sitting right next to the Dodgers dugout on the third base side, sprang to his feet.

The home run -- a drive well over the fence to straight center field, broke a scoreless tie. The Dodgers then tacked on three insurance runs and blanked the San Francisco Giants, 4-0, before a sellout opening-day crowd of 53,138 at Dodger Stadium.

BOX SCORE: Dodgers 4, Giants 0

Immediately after the last out, a ground ball fielded by Luis Cruz, the man was on his feet and quickly out onto the field to greet Kershaw and other Dodgers.

Then, as Kershaw was shown on the stadium's new, giant outfield video screen and the remaining crowd roared its approval, the man led the cheers, clapping with both hands raised above his head.

PHOTOS: Dodgers open the 2013 season against the Giants

Kershaw spoke and the man clapped some more, hands again raised. And again when Matt Kemp showered Kershaw with ice water during an on-field interview.

The man: Dodgers Chairman Mark Walter, whose ownership group had a chance to negotiate with Kershaw before opening day.

The way Kershaw looked against the Giants, it's a good bet the asking price -- thought to be a contract in the $200-million range -- went up.

Kershaw struck out seven without a walk and gave up only four hits. He is the first pitcher since Bob Lemon in 1953 to throw an opening-day shutout and hit a home run. No Dodger had thrown an opening-day shutout since Hideo Nomo in 2003.

It was the sixth shutout of Kershaw's career, and he's now thrown 19 consecutive shutout innings in opening-day starts dating to 2011.

The Dodgers won on opening day for the third consecutive season.

The Dodgers had seven hits, but only four against Giants starter Matt Cain, who threw six shutout innings, striking out eight.

George Kontos threw a scoreless seventh inning for the Giants before Kershaw led off the eighth with his homer.

The Dodgers added three more runs in the inning. Carl Crawford followed Kershaw with a double down the left-field line and Mark Ellis bunted for a hit, moving Crawford to third. Crawford scored from there on a wild pitch.

After Matt Kemp walked and Adrian Gonzalez was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Ellis scored on a ground-ball out by Andre Ethier and Kemp scored on a ground-ball out by A.J. Ellis.

ALSO:

Dodgers finalize 25-man roster, place four on disabled list

Paco Rodriguez, Justin Sellers make Dodgers' 25-man roster

Dodgers' other kind of relief: Matt Kemp finishes spring strong

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