An Opening Day without Clayton Kershaw worked out just fine for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who crushed eight home runs and received six strong innings from fill-in starter Hyun-Jin Ryu in a 12-5 victory over the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday.
Joc Pederson and Enrique Hernandez each hit two home runs as the Dodgers set a major league record for homers in a season opener and matched the club’s mark for any game. Los Angeles hit three home runs in the fourth inning and three more in the seventh.
Arizona starter Zack Greinke (0-1) took the brunt of the damage, giving up four home runs in 3 2/3 innings. He yielded seven runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Christian Walker hit a home run for the Diamondbacks and drove in a pair of runs.
Greinke, the former Dodgers co-ace, has now given up 14 home runs in 34 innings at Dodger Stadium since joining the Diamondbacks before the start of the 2016 season.
Kershaw, who is expected to miss at least two more weeks with shoulder inflammation, was not on the mound for a Dodgers opener for the first time since 2010. Ryu (1-0) handled the honor just fine, giving up one run on four hits and no walks with eight strikeouts.
Austin Barnes, Corey Seager, Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger also hit home runs for the Dodgers, the reigning National League champions who are trying to reach their third consecutive World Series.
The eight home runs topped last season’s single-game high by one.
Pederson, who has hit at least 25 home runs in three of the past four seasons, also added a double as the first Dodgers batter of the season. He scored three runs, as did Hernandez.
Hernandez, the Dodgers’ new starting second baseman after serving in a utility role the past four seasons, partnered with Barnes on back-to-back home runs in a four-run fourth inning. Bellinger and Hernandez went back-to-back in the seventh.
Seager, in his first game since last April after undergoing elbow and hip surgeries, also hit a home run in the fourth inning. He was playing in just his 27th regular season game since the 2017 World Series.
It has been a rough week for the Diamondbacks. They not only lost the season opener, but they also were just three days removed from outfielder Steven Souza Jr.’s season-ending knee injury that happened after he slipped on home plate during an exhibition game.
—Field Level Media