Dodgers Slug Their Way to Home Opening Win

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13: Casey Blake #23 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a two run home run in the fourth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 13, 2010 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

It turns out a little home cooking is all the Dodgers needed.  After hitting three home runs on their six-game season opening road trip, the Dodgers slammed four home runs at Dodger Stadium today in a rousing 9-5 win over the DiamondbacksManny Ramirez, Casey Blake, Matt Kemp, and Andre Ethier, the Dodgers top four home run hitters last season, all went deep this afternoon.  Today marked the third straight home opener win for the Dodgers, and the 13th straight for Joe Torre, dating back to 1998.

That's not to say the offense didn't show up during the road trip; the Dodgers did average six runs per game in Pittsburgh and Miami.  But the long ball made an prominent appearance today for the Dodgers, and they needed all the offense they could get.

Clayton Kershaw got his first win since last July 18, a span of 12 regular season starts, but it wasn't pretty.  Kershaw allowed just two runs, but he walked a tightrope in his 5 1/3 innings, walking five hitters while striking out seven.  Before this season, Kershaw had not walked more than eight hitters in any two consecutive starts.  However, in his first two starts this season, Kershaw has walked 11 batters in just 10 innings.

After Jeff Weaver made his sixth appearance in seven games, limiting the Diamondbacks to one run in the sixth inning, Ramon Ortiz entered and took the lead in the race to be designated for assignment once Hong-Chih Kuo and/or Ronald Belisario get activated.  Ortiz the elder allowed three runs in his 2/3 of an inning, including a two-run home run to Mark ReynoldsRamon Troncoso, labeled a "one inning guy" by Joe Torre over the weekend, was asked to get four outs today.  The bullpen has so few reliable options right now that Troncoso was sent to the plate to bat in the top of the seventh, just so they didn't have to take him out. 

Jonathan Broxton was used to get the final three outs with a four-run lead.  If very recent history has shown us anything, Broxton probably won't be available on Wednesday in an actual save opportunity or close game.

Blake DeWitt walked in all three of his plate appearances, bringing home a run with a bases loaded walk in the fifth.  DeWitt became the first Dodger to walk three times in a home opener since Pedro Guerrero in 1984.

Chad Billingsley faces Rodrigo Lopez in the second game of the series tomorrow night.

WP - Clayton Kershaw (1-0):  5 1/3 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs, 5 walks, 7 strikeouts

LP - Ian Kennedy (0-1):  4 1/3 IP, 6 hits, 6 runs, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts

Box Score

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