The Dodgers have invested heavily in a big-budget roster in an
attempt to end 26 years without a trip to the World Series and got
off to a great start under the lights at the Sydney Cricket Ground
After taking the lead in the second innings on an Andre Ethier RBI,
the Dodgers moved ahead 3-0 in the fourth when outfielder Scott Van
Slyke delighted the 38,266 crowd with a two-run homer to rightfield.
Double Cy Young winner Kershaw, who signed the richest contract ever
for a pitcher in January worth $30 million a season, allowed five
hits and struck out seven batters in 6 2/3rd innings for the win.
The start of the first major league game in Australia for a century
was delayed by rain and the new season got underway 14 minutes
behind schedule when Wade Miley threw a strike to Dodgers
rightfielder Yasiel Puig.
It was not a great evening for either player, left-hander Miley
taking the loss after giving up three runs in five innings and Cuban
Puig going 0 for 5.
Van Slyke fell just short of the first home run of the year when his
flyball at the top of the second hit the fence with D-backs
leftfielder Mark Trumbo having completely misjudged its flight.
It did not take too long for the Dodgers to notch up the first run
of the new season, though, and an RBI groundout by Andre Ethier sent
Adrian Gonzalez home to score in the same inning.
Van Slyke made no mistake in the fourth to triple the lead with his
homer to right field, delighting the crowd when he sent the ball over
the fence just inside the foul-line.
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Arizona finally got on the scoreboard in the sixth inning when a
Trumbo RBI allowed first baseman Paul Goldschmidt to cross home
plate and reduce the lead to 3-1.
Miley was a late replacement for D-Backs ace Patrick Corbin, who
suffered a serious elbow injury last weekend which looks like ruling
him out for the season.
South Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin goes up against Arizona's Trevor
Cahill in the second and final match of the series on Sunday.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
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