LOS ANGELES — It was only one game out of 162, but the Dodgers got pretty much exactly what they wanted out of their offense on opening day, in their 14-3 bludgeoning of the Padres on Monday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.
The club hit four home runs, the first time they have ever done so on opening day, but also hit four doubles.
All nine starters had at least one hit and scored at least one run. The only one not to reach base twice was Joc Pederson, who hit a grand slam and drove in a career-high five runs.
“It was just the quality of at-bats, one through nine with Kersh today too,” manager Dave Roberts said. “It’s a tough lineup to navigate through. There was a purpose each time the guys stepped in the batters box. It’s a grind to get our guys out consistently.”
Justin Turner was 3-for-5 with two doubles. Corey Seager had two hits, including a three-run home run. Adrian Gonzalez doubled and walked twice. Yasiel Puig, who hit eighth on Monday, also doubled and walked twice.
“When you see Yasiel hitting eighth, it speaks to the depth of our lineup,” Roberts said. “To have Logan Forsythe in there to break things up a little bit, to grind at-bats, and to get on base. It lends itself to a potential big inning. We have a lot of talented players.”
Grandal the right way
One of those talented players is Yasmani Grandal, who led all catchers in baseball in home runs in 2016, and hit two more on Monday, one from each side of the plate.
In his first two years as a Dodger, the switch-hitting Grandal hit five of his 43 home runs from the right side of the plate, one home run every 31 plate appearances compared to one every 19 PA batting left-handed.
Grandal wasn’t a bad hitter from the right side, hitting .258/.394/.391, but he hit a lot of ground balls, so he worked on his swing this winter.
“Early on in spring we saw that [swing improvement], but then we faced a lot of right-handed pitching,” Roberts said. “It’s something he worked this winter to clean up. For him today to get rewarded really adds to his confidence.”
Grandal estimated that, before his home run against Jose Torres in the eighth inning Monday, he last saw a left-handed pitcher over a week and a half ago in spring training, making it difficult to practice his swing changes in game situations.
“I wasn’t able to get as many at-bats as I wanted during spring,” Grandal said. “I’m pleased with the fact I was able to stay within my approach. Hopefully the timing stays the same.”
Baez on the mend
Dodgers relief pitcher Pedro Baez opened the season on the disabled list with a right wrist contusion, and is currently in extended spring training at the Dodgers’ facility at Camelback Ranch in Arizona.
Baez is expected to pitch one inning either Monday or Tuesday, then later in the week join Triple-A Oklahoma City on a rehab assignment. OKC opens its Pacific Coast League schedule at home on Thursday night against Iowa, the first of a five-game series.
“We expect Petey back sometime in the second week of the season, if everything goes well,” manager Dave Roberts said Monday.
With the new 10-day disabled list, and the ability to backdate opening day DL assignments to March 30, the earliest Baez could be activated is Monday, April 10, when the Dodgers open a three-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
The Dodgers host the Padres on Tuesday night in the second game of a four-game series, with Kenta Maeda on the mound against left-handed Clayton Richard for San Diego.
Corey Seager, who won the 2016 Silver Slugger Award as the best-hitting shortstop in the National League, will be presented that award on the field in a ceremony before Tuesday night’s game, a 7:10 p.m. start.