The Los Angeles Dodgers have played two of the three marquee games in the early portion of the 2014 regular season, with the Dodger Stadium opener now just one day away. On Friday, the Dodgers will begin a three-game set with the San Francisco Giants in their first home series of the regular season for the second consecutive season.
On the first day of April in 2013, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw took the mound against the defending World Series champion Giants and put forth a memorable performance. Kershaw threw a complete game shutout, allowing only four hits and striking out seven, but it was his eighth inning at-bat that sent Dodger Stadium into a frenzy.
In his first career Opening Day start, Giants starter Matt Cain essentially shut the Dodger offense down, pitching six innings and striking out eight. Cain gave way to George Kontos, who kept the Dodgers scoreless through seven. Kontos took the mound again in the eighth as Kershaw, who entered the game a career .146 batter and was 0-for-2 on the day with two strikeouts, led off.
Kontos’ first pitch to Kershaw was a 92 mile-per-hour belt high fastball, which Kershaw put a charge into and sent sailing over the center field fence to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. The home run was the first of Kershaw’s career and he has yet to hit another. The Dodgers wound up tacking on three more runs and won the game, 4-0.
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