Opening day could’ve gone a lot better for the defending World Series Champions as they got clipped by their division rivals.
The Los Angeles Dodgers on the strength of Clayton Kershaw, both on the mound and in the batter’s box, defeated the San Francisco Giants 4-0. It was a pitchers duel throughout until the bottom of the 8th inning when Kershaw lead things off with his first career home run to break the tie. It came off of Giants’ reliever George Kantos.
Kantos would then give up a double to Carl Crawford and a bunt single to Mark Ellis which moved Crawford to third. Santiago Casilla then came in to pitch for San Francisco but would let a run score via a wild pitch to make it 2-0 and then walked Matt Kemp, the only batter he faced.
Jeremy Affeldt then came in for the Giants and he would hit Adrian Gonzalez with a pitch to load the bases for the Dodgers. Andre Either would then ground out to second allowing Ellis to score. Luis Cruz was then got intentionally walked to load the bases. Dodgers then scored their final run of the game with A.J. Ellis grounding to third to allow Kemp to score. Affeldt then struck out Justin Sellers to finally end the 4-run inning.
Clayton Kershaw, having not thrown more than 90 pitches at that point, then came in and finished the game. Angel Pagan managed to get his second hit of the contest but Kershaw had no problem with anyone else ending the opener with a Pablo Sandoval ground out to third.
Kershaw has a true 9 inning shutout to start the off the 2013 season with 7 strikeouts, 4 hits allowed, and no walks.
It was a pitchers duel while Matt Cain was in the game. Cain went 6 innings allowing no runs with 8 strikeouts, 4 hits allowed, and 1 walk surrendered. Cain did have a troubling first inning which contributed to early exit as he gave up a Crawford single followed by hitting Mark Ellis with a pitch to put runners on 1st and 2nd. He managed to tight rope out of danger, partially thanks to Buster Posey throwing out Crawford trying to steal third with one out.
Like many of the Giants hitters, Posey went hit-less going 0 for 3 and struck out looking in the first.
The four hits the Giants had came from Pagan and Sandoval who each had a pair singles.
Among the hit-less Giants was Andres Torres who batted 8th in the lineup playing left field. Torres was part of the 2010 World Series team but was traded to the New York Mets after the 2011 season in a deal to get Angel Pagan. Torres signed a one year contract to rejoin the Giants this last off season.
The opening series in LA continues tomorrow with San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner squaring off against Major League newcomer Hyun-jin Ryu. The 26 year old lefty has played his entire professional baseball career up to this point for the Hanwha Eagles in South Korea going 9-9 with a 2.66 ERA in 2012.
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Written by Daniel Trucios