The Dodgers bounced back from their loss against the Diamondbacks Friday with a resounding 10-1 win Saturday night at Dodger Stadium. Clayton Kershaw took the mound for the first time in 2023 and looked sharp, striking out nine in six innings of work. Trayce Thompson tortured Madison Bumgarner and the D-backs with three home runs including a first-inning grand slam.
Kershaw had his curveball working right away in the first inning when he struck out Diamondbacks leadoff hitter Kyle Lewis to open his 16th season with the Dodgers.
With his first pitch, Clayton Kershaw is officially a 16-year veteran. His 16 seasons pitching for the Dodgers ties Don Sutton for the most by a Dodger pitcher.— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) April 2, 2023
Dodgers hang five in the first
The Dodgers sent nine men to the plate in a five-run first inning against old foe Bumgarner. Mookie Betts wasted no time and crushed a ball off Bumgarner to deep left field. A fan dropped what should have been a home run for Mookie. The umpires convened to review the play, and they subsequently overruled it as fan interference and a ground-rule double.
Freddie Freeman’s hustle and infield single gave the Dodgers runners at the corners with no outs. Chris Taylor’s sac fly opened the floodgates against Bumgarner who labored through 31 pitches in the inning.
On the second pitch he saw, Thompson hit a majestic grand slam to give the Dodgers a commanding 5-0 lead.
Christin Walker got to Kershaw for a solo home run in the top of the second to make it 5-1. Other than the Walker homer, Kershaw looked great.
Clayton Kershaw, Cooperstown Curve. pic.twitter.com/sfd2QC6ooy— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 2, 2023
The defense did a stellar job of backing up Kershaw as well. Max Muncy held down the hot corner in the first with two nice plays and a jumping catch in the seventh to rob Walker of a base hit. Miguel Rojas and Miguel Vargas worked well together in the infield, and Chris Taylor made a diving catch in left field to save runs in the top of the fifth.
Thompson proved that he can hit left-handers and right-handers. In the bottom of the fifth, Thompson hit his second home run of the game. The three-run shot off Arizona reliever Kevin Ginkel extended the Dodgers’ lead to seven over the Snakes.
Thompson doubles down on the home runs
Two homer night? Thompson with a double-double! pic.twitter.com/YE9zsCsXOp— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 2, 2023
Jason Heyward made his Dodgers debut in the bottom of the sixth as a pinch-hitter for Mookie. He grounded out, breaking his bat.
The Dodgers hit four home runs on the night, giving them the temporary lead in the majors with six long balls through their first three games.
J.D. Martinez hit his first home run in Dodger Blue, a solo shot off Cole Sulser in the bottom of the seventh.
Thompson hit his third home run of the game against right-hander Carlos Vargas in the bottom of the eight to make it 10-1. He’s the first Dodger to hits three home runs in a game since Mookie did in 2020.
Andre Jackson took over for Kershaw in the bottom of the seventh and pitched three scoreless frames out of the LA bullpen for the save.
#Dodgers Dave Roberts says he’s adopted “a new three-home run rule” and Trayce Thompson will start again tomorrow. Mookie Betts will play 2B— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) April 2, 2023
Home runs: Trayce Thompson 3 (3); Christian Walker (1); J.D. Martinez (1)
WP — Clayton Kershaw (1-0): 6 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, no walks, 9 strikeouts, 76 pitches (56 strikes)
LP — Madison Bumgarner (0-1): 4 IP, 4 hits, 5 runs, 4 walks, 2 strikeouts, 85 pitches (49 strikes)
S — Andre Jackson (1)
The opening series between the Dodgers and D-backs wraps up on Sunday at (1:10 p.m.; SportsNet LA, MLB Network) when LA goes for their first series win of the season. Noah Syndergaard makes his Dodgers debut on the mound, and Arizona counters with Zach Davies.