Los Angeles

Dodgers Dominate Padres 15-0 on Opening Day

Clayton Kershaw allowed one-hit over seven shutout innings, and the Los Angeles lineup combined for 15 runs on 17 hits as the Dodgers dominated the Padres 15-0 on Opening Day in San Diego.

SAN DIEGO – Another Opening Day, another dominant Dodgers victory over the paltry Padres.

For the second consecutive season opener, the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres, this time, in an utter blowout.

The Dodgers combined for 15 runs on 17 hits as Clayton Kershaw got as many hits as he allowed and Los Angeles shutout their neighbors to the south on their home field, 15-0 on Opening Day at Petco Park.

"You always want to keep the pressure on and keep the pitcher in peril," said Dodgers' catcher A.J. Ellis about the offensive explosion. "It's always hard to pitch with runners in scoring position. Everybody felt great on that first day."

Kershaw allowed no runs, on just one hit, with one walk and nine strikeouts in seven shutout innings.

"Getting a big lead like that gives you a little bit more breathing room," Kershaw said of his Opening Day victory. "I was just trying to pound the strike zone and not give them free bases."

Kershaw made his sixth straight Opening Day start for the Dodgers and improves to 4-0 with a 0.94 ERA.

The Dodgers 37-year-old leadoff hitter got things going in the first inning with a bloop double to centerfield to start the game. Utley's leadoff two-bagger was followed by rookie Corey Seager's rocket shot off the left-field wall and the Dodgers had an early 1-0 lead.

Before the game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts shed some light on why he put Utley and Seager one-and-two in the order:

"If he gets a guy on second base, I expect him to swing the bat and drive him in," he told the media before the game. "It was a little bit prophetic and it all worked out. You can expect him to be in the two-hole tomorrow."

Roberts won his managerial debut against the team that he was in the opposing dugout for most of last season. Roberts was the bench coach for the Padres in 2015.

"It seems like so long ago. I think Opening Day is always special and the way we won today in this fashion, against a great pitcher in Tyson Ross, we had to do a lot of things right."

The Dodgers' "Big Butter and Egg Man," Adrian Gonzalez delivered as he always does against his former team finishing 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored.

"We did a great job of putting together great at-bats and squaring up the ball," Gonzalez said. "With Tyson you don't want to get too big. Our game plan was to hit the ball hard down the line. We did a great job."

L.A. chased Padres' starter Tyson Ross from the game in the sixth inning when they scored five runs on five consecutive hits. Yasiel Puig took a fastball off the elbow to start the inning, and scored on a Joc Pederson double two batters later. A.J. Ellis hit a two-run single to center field and Kershaw followed with a single of his own before Utley scored Ellis on a single to right.

Utley knocked in two more in the top of the seventh and finished the game 3-for-5 with a double, three hits, two RBIs and a run scored.

Puig had the highlight reel play of the game when he hit an inside-the-park little league home run in the top of the 8th inning. Puig hit a moon shot over the head of John Jay and Matt Kemp and scored on an error after the throw from the outfield got past third baseman Yangervis Solarte.

Every Dodgers starter (including Kershaw) had at least one hit and one run. Trayce Thompson, Charlie Culberson, and Lou Coleman made their Dodger debuts.

Every Dodgers starter (including Kershaw) had at least one hit and one run. Trayce Thompson, Charlie Culberson, and Lou Coleman made their Dodger debuts.

Players of the Game:

Every Dodgers' Player 1 through 9: 15 runs on 17 hits speaks for itself. Every position player, including Kershaw got a hit and scored a run. WOW.

Three Takeaways:

1. Kershaw in Cy Young Form: Clayton Kershaw looked every bit like the dominant Cy Young candidate he was at the end of the 2015 season and in the MLB Playoffs. The left-hander allowed o runs on one-hit in seven shutout innings.

2. So Much for 'No Offense': In the Dodgers last three tuneup games before the start of the season, they scored exactly one run in each. The lack of offensive production had many questioning where L.A.'s offense would come from this season without a true cleanup hitter in the lineup. Those questions were put to rest on Opening Day as the Dodgers singled and doubled the Padres to death.

3. Batting First, Benjamin Button: All throughout the preseason, we in the media talked at nauseam about the Dodgers lack of a true leadoff hitter. In spring, the Dodgers tried over a dozen different players at the top of the lineup, and finally settled on 37-year-old Chase Utley to start the season. Utley – who struggled last season – did his best "Benjamin Button" impression, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored.

Up Next:
Dodgers (1-0): LHP Scott Kazmir takes the mound in his Dodgers debut on Tuesday Night at 7:10PM

Padres (0-1): RHP James "Big Game" Shields starts his 2016 season for San Diego.

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