April 1, 2013
The Dodgers opened their 2013 season against the rival San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium.
The game pitted the aces of the staff against each other as Matt Cain took on Dodger left-hander Clayton Kershaw. A pitchers’ duel ensued as the pitchers traded zeroes for six innings and Cain gave way to a reliever in the seventh inning.
The game remained scoreless until the eighth inning.
Kershaw had already thrown eight shutout innings but found himself with no run support as he led off the bottom of the eighth. So the 25-year-old took matters into his own hands and hit a home run to dead center field on the first pitch he saw from reliever George Kontos.
The home run gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead and sparked the team as they added three more runs in the inning. A Carl Crawford double and a Mark Ellis bunt single put runners at the corners and the Dodgers would score on a wild pitch with two groundouts in the inning after drawing two walks and a hit batter.
Kershaw would head back out and finish the game by getting Pablo Sandoval to ground out for the last out with the Dodgers came away with an incredible opening day victory and Kershaw was the hero.
The home run was his first career home run and seemed to energize the team and crowd, while flustering the rival Giants. With the win the Dodgers won their sixth straight home opener.
Here’s video of Kershaw’s eighth inning blast: