Once the the dust settled and the pageantry that comes with Opening Day at Dodger Stadium concluded, Hyun-Jin Ryu toed the rubber for his third start in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ first six games. Ryu left his previous start in San Diego due to fatigue, which may have carried over into the first inning on Friday. After retiring the first two San Francisco Giant batters, Ryu walked Pablo Sandoval a two-out rally ensued.
Buster Posey doubled to left, putting runners on second and third for Michael Morse. The left fielder singled to center, scoring Sandoval and Posey, and giving the Giants a 2-0 lead. Brandon Belt then singled in Morse, who reached second on an error by Matt Kemp. Ryu then got Brandon Hicks to hit a would-be routine pop-fly, but Dee Gordon lost the ball in the sun and Adrian Gonzalez was unable to track it, allowing Hicks to reach on a gift double. Ryu intentionally walked Joaquin Arias to face Ryan Vogelsong with bases loaded. Vogelsong hit a bloop single into no-man’s land, scoring two runs to give the Giants a 5-0 lead. Angel Pagan drove in a sixth run before Sandoval lined out to end the first.
Vogelsong took the mound With a comfortable 6-0 lead and made quick work of the Dodgers, retiring them in order. Ryu’s struggles continued in the second, though not entirely of his own doing. Posey reached on an error and later scored on a Hicks two-out double that Kemp couldn’t corral as he crashed into the center field wall. Arias added another run with a double of his own to give the Giants an 8-0 lead before Ryu could get the third out in the second.
Jose Dominguez took over for Ryu in the third and the Giants were retired in order for the first time in the game. Gordon singled to leadoff the bottom of the third and promptly stole second, but the Dodgers were unable to take advantage and went to the fourth still trailing 8-0. After another 1-2-3 inning from Dominguez, Gonzalez and Andre Ethier got the Dodgers on the board with back-to-back solo home runs in the bottom of the fourth to pull the Dodgers within 8-2. Juan Uribe kept the momentum going with a no-out double but was stranded at third.
The oft-criticized Brandon League retired the Giants in order in the fifth and set the stage for the Dodgers to continue chipping away at their deficit. Following a single and stolen base by Carl Crawford, Kemp doubled Crawford in for his first hit and RBI of the season. Hanley Ramirez then singled, which marked the end of Vogelsong’s day as he gave way to left-hander David Huff with Gonzalez and Ethier due up. Following a Gonzalez strike out, Ethier singled in Kemp to close the gap to 8-4.
League took the mound in the sixth for a second inning of work and got around a Pagan leadoff single to once again retire the Giants without allowing any runs. Gordon singled and stole second, advancing to third base on a bad throw but the Dodgers left another runner on base, moving them to 3-of-14 with runners in scoring position at the end of six. Chris Withrow was the next Dodgers reliever to enter the game and like Dominguez and League, the right-hander sat the Giants down without issue in the seventh.
Dominguez, League, Withrow and Jamey Wright combined to pitch seven scoreless innings, but the Dodgers were unable to continue their comeback bid in the last three innings of the game and lost to the Giants, 8-4.
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