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Will Smith, James Outman lead Dodgers to opening day win over Diamondbacks

MLB: MAR 30 Diamondbacks at Dodgers Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — In a Dodgers lineup that featured two rookies and three newcomers to the roster, it was a familiar face that led the way. Catcher Will Smith had three hits and drove in four runs in an 8-2 win over the Diamondbacks on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.

Smith doubled in the first inning against Arizona starter Zac Gallen, who struck out the other three hitters in the frame. After rookie James Outman worked a walk after falling behind Gallen 0-2 in the third inning, Miguel Rojas doubled, and Smith singled them both home to tie the score at two apiece.

After Mookie Betts walked and Freddie Freeman singled to open the fifth, Smith singled home the go-ahead run. Free agent signees J.D. Martinez and David Peralta followed with RBI singles in a three-run frame.

The Dodgers scored five runs against Gallen, who had a 1.49 ERA after the All-Star break last year, and hadn’t allowed more than three runs in a start since July 8.

Smith’s three hits tied the most by a Dodgers catcher on opening day, and he’s the only Dodgers catcher to drive in four runs on opening day, adding a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.

“Will Smith was a star as far as seeing pitches, getting two-strike hits, two-out RBI, and just having good at-bats,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Everyone else sort of followed after that.”

Outman continued his stretch of strong first impressions, adding a two-run home run in the sixth inning in his first game at Dodger Stadium. He also singled in the eighth.

Arizona batters had five hard-hit balls the first time through the lineup against Julio Urías, who allowed single runs in each of the first two innings. The Diamondbacks ordered things well against the left-hander, following a hit by pitch with two singles for a run in the first, then following a leadoff double with two fly balls for another tally in the second.

After that though, Urías settled down considerably, retiring 10 of his next 12 batters faced. The only batters to reach base in those last four innings were quickly erased. After Ketel Marte reached on an error in the third, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. grounded into the second of two 5-4-3 double plays by Arizona, turned efficiently by Miguel Vargas, playing his first major league game at second base. Marte singled down the right field line in the sixth off Urías, but was thrown out trying for a double by Betts.

Urías only allowed two hard-hit balls after the first two frames, and ended with six strikeouts and no walks in his six innings, a length he reached in 21 of 32 starts in 2022.

Thursday particulars

Home run: James Outman (1)

WP — Julio Urías (1-0): 6 IP, 4 hits, 2 runs, 6 strikeouts

LP — Zac Gallen (0-1): 4⅔ IP, 6 hits, 5 runs, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts

Up next

The second contest of the four-game series comes Friday night (7:10 p.m., SportsNet LA), with Dustin May starting for the Dodgers against Merrill Kelly for the D-backs.