The Los Angeles Dodgers saw their ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw leave the game early on Thursday night, but were still able to prevail 5-3 over the San Diego Padres on opening day at Petco Park. Matt Kemp provided the offensive support with a pair of hits, including a two-run home run to right field that provided needed insurance in the top of the eighth inning.
Kemp drove in three runs on the night.
Kershaw nearly didn't make his start as he had the stomach flu, but was able to talk his way to the mound to start the game and the season for the Dodgers. Kershaw pitched three scoreless innings, walking one while striking out three, and retired the first eight batters he faced. But Kershaw was clearly gassed and was pulled after just 39 pitches.
Josh Lindblom, who found out just Tuesday night that he made the opening day roster, retired all six batters he faced in his two innings of relief of Kershaw, with one strikeout. Lindblom (1-0) was awarded the win.
The Dodgers rallied for a pair of runs in the fourth inning, thanks to two hits and four walks by Edinson Volquez. Two of those free passes came with the bases loaded, to James Loney and A.J. Ellis. Volquez (0-1) struck out seven in his five innings, but was saddled with the loss after allowing three runs.
These two teams go at it again Friday night, with Chad Billingsley taking the mound for the Dodgers, against Cory Luebke for San Diego.
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