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Clayton Kershaw doesn't need run support, gets it anyway in 15-0 blowout opener

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Denis Poroy/Getty Images

SAN DIEGO -- Another season, another opening day win for the Dodgers in a game started by Clayton Kershaw. Los Angeles scored early and never really stopped in a rousing 15-0 win over the Padres on Monday afternoon at Petco Park.

The margin of victory was the Dodgers' best ever on opening day.

The Dodgers have won six straight opening day games for the first time in their history, with all six games started by Kershaw.

Kershaw allowed only a walk to Yangervis Solarte in the second inning and a single to Jon Jay in the third, but that was all. He retired 13 straight batters after the Jay single and ended with seven scoreless innings and nine strikeouts.

"It was vintage opening day Clayton. Hew as focused and ready to go. He comes to spring training ready for opening day, it seems like," catcher A.J. Ellis said. "He had a good idea of what he wanted to do, knowing a lot of these guys already. He had a great game plan going in, and it was just about execution."

It was the fourth time in six opening day starts in which Kershaw didn't allow a run. He improved to 4-0 on opening day with a sparkling 0.93 ERA, with 44 strikeouts and six walks in 38⅔ innings.

"It's fun to be a part of," Kershaw said. "It doesn't really ever get old."

Over his last 146 regular season starts, dating back to June 14, 2011, Kershaw has a 1.98 ERA.

Kershaw got all the support he would need in the first inning, when Chase Utley and Corey Seager each doubled in their first at-bats of the year. Both made manager Dave Roberts' pregame comments about the lineup immediately relevant.

"Ultimately, I trust the at-bats and I feel he can get on base," Roberts said of Utley, who reached base four times in six plate appearances in just his 12th career start batting leadoff.

"If he gets a guy on second base, I expect him to swing the bat and drive him in," Roberts said of Seager, who drove in Utley from second with a double in the first inning then drove in Kershaw from third base with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

"You can't relax because that's when you start giving up hits," Kershaw said. "But when you have guys score for you, you don't have to be as perfect and you can just go out there and attack the strike zone."

The offense will get its own post later, with some postgame reaction, but just know this — 10 different players had at least one hit, and those same 10 players scored at least one run. That includes Kershaw.

The Dodgers had eight extra-base hits — their most on opening day since 1995 — but didn't hit a home run. Their 15 runs without a home run was one shy of the Los Angeles franchise record of 16 runs without a home run against the Rockies at Coors Field on May 25, 2009.

The 15 runs scored were one shy of the LA club record on opening day, set in a 16-7 win at the Astrodome in 1983.

Opening day particulars

Home runs: none

WP - Clayton Kershaw (1-0): 7 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts

LP - Tyson Ross (0-1): 5⅓ IP, 9 hits, 8 runs (7 earned), 1 walk, 5 strikeouts