Behind a double, home run and two RBI from Scott Van Slyke, the Los Angeles Dodgers got the 2014 season off on the right foot with a 3-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Clayton Kershaw erased the memories of a rough Spring Training with 6.2 innings of work, striking out seven while allowing only one run. The Dodgers and Diamondbacks are back on the field Saturday night at 7 p.m. PT for what may seem as a doubleheader of sorts for fans in Los Angeles. With the 18-hour time difference, fans in LA are being treated to two games in less than 24 hours.
Hyun-Jin Ryu takes the mound for the Dodgers, who look to establish a very early two-game lead over their NL West counterparts. The South Korean native gets the nod in favor of Zack Greinke who’s at Camelback Ranch due to a right calf strain that altered his Spring Training schedule and regular season debut. Ryu started 30 games in his rookie season last year, going 14-8 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. In five starts against the Diamondbacks in 2013, Ryu went 1-2 with two no decisions.
Pitching for Kirk Gibson’s club will be Trevor Cahill, who was 8-10 last season, his second with the Diamondbacks. After an 0-5 month of June, Cahill rebounded to finish the 2013 season 5-0, including a win over the Dodgers on Sept. 16 in Los Angeles. The 26-year-old right-hander started four games against the Dodgers last season, going 2-0 with two no decisions. Cahill threw 16 innings over four Spring Training starts, allowing 15 runs on 16 hits.
Justin Turner got the start at second base in the opening game with left-hander Wade Miley on the mound for the Diamondbacks, but he gives way to Dee Gordon. Gordon had an impressive spring, seemingly transitioning himself from an afterthought to the believed leader to start at second base. Other than an error on a relatively routine play, Turner set somewhat of a high standard for Gordon to meet.
Aside from Van Slyke, the Dodgers offense on Opening Day was relatively anemic. Though it was only one game, Spring Training may have carried over for Yasiel Puig who didn’t look comfortable in the lead off spot and finished the game 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. Mike Baxter gets the start against the righty Cahill. Hanley Ramirez was also hitless in an 0 for 4 effort.
The game will again be broadcasted on SportsNet LA, which along with Time Warner Cable, is also carried by Bright House Networks and Champion Broadband. For fans outside LA and Arizona, the game can be seen on MLB Network.
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