Series: Game 1 of 3

LA Dodgers leads 1-0 (as of 4/1)

Game 1: Monday, April 1
San Francisco0Final
LA Dodgers4
Game 2: Tuesday, April 2
San Francisco3Final
LA Dodgers0
Game 3: Wednesday, April 3
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LA Dodgers3

Giants 0

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Dodgers 4

(1-0, 1-0 home)

    Coverage:  ESPN/WatchESPN

    4:00 PM ET, April 1, 2013

    Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California 

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    W: C. Kershaw (1-0)

    L: G. Kontos (0-1)

    Dodgers 4, Giants 0

    Associated Press

    LOS ANGELES -- After an erratic first inning, Matt Cain settled down and tossed six scoreless innings for the San Francisco Giants.

    It still wasn't enough, not on a day when Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw outdueled him on the mound and at the plate.

    Kershaw launched his first career home run to break a scoreless tie in the eighth inning, then finished off a four-hitter Monday that led Los Angeles to a 4-0 win on opening day.

    "That's definitely what you expect when you go out there and face Kershaw," Cain said. "You know he's going to bring it."

    Cain made his first career opening day start for the defending World Series champions. He allowed four hits, struck out eight and walked one. The right-hander threw 93 pitches, including 32 in the first inning alone, when he hit Mark Ellis.

    "He gave us what we needed and he put up some zeros," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "But we just couldn't get a run there for him."

    Cain had won his four previous starts against the Dodgers since Aug. 1, 2010, going 4-0 with a 2.0 ERA in 10 starts.

    "Kershaw moved the ball around and changed speeds, and Cain did the same thing," Giants catcher Buster Posey said. "He went in and out and threw some off-speed pitches for strikes in big situations and was able to get some swings."

    Cain figures always having to face an opponent's No. 1 or 2 pitcher has only toughened him up as a starter.

    "It's great," he said. "You know what the guy on the other side is going to do. But you can't worry too much about the other guy on the mound. You're expected to go out there and throw the ball real well, and that's what you try to do every time out."

    Kershaw became the first pitcher to throw a shutout and hit a home run in an opener since Bob Lemon for Cleveland in 1953, according to STATS.

    Kershaw struck out seven, walked none and retired World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval on a grounder to end it.

    The former Cy Young winner began the day as a career .146 batter with only one extra-base hit in 261 at-bats. But he sent the first pitch from George Kontos (0-1) over the center-field wall, triggering a standing ovation and prolonged roar from the sellout crowd of 53,000.

    After high-fiving his teammates, Kershaw tipped his cap from the dugout.

    Kershaw became the first pitcher in the majors to homer on opening day since Joe Magrane of St. Louis in 1988, and the first Dodgers pitcher to do it since Don Drysdale in 1965.

    "I never knew what that felt like," Kershaw said.

    Dodgers Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, wearing his vintage No. 32 jersey, threw out the ceremonial first ball. In 1964, Koufax pitched the first opening-day shutout at Dodger Stadium.

    Then, another Dodgers lefty with a great curveball dominated.

    Kershaw pitched his sixth career shutout, tossing 94 pitches in his third consecutive opening day start. He has led the majors in ERA each of the last two seasons, and there is speculation he will soon be rewarded with a long-term contract worth about $200 million.

    While Kershaw (1-0) was resting after his home run, the Dodgers broke it open.

    Carl Crawford followed with a double in his Dodgers debut and later scored on a wild pitch by Santiago Casilla for a 2-0 lead. The Dodgers got their last two runs on RBI groundouts by Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis.

    Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson was on the mound before the game when manager Don Mattingly came out and signaled for a reliever. In came Koufax to throw the first ball to former Dodgers ace Orel Hershiser.

    A few minutes later, the crowd looked toward Vin Scully's booth, where he began his 64th season, and the revered broadcaster pronounced: "It's time for Dodger baseball."

    Game notes

    Ethier made his franchise record sixth consecutive opening day start in right field for the Dodgers. ... Kershaw is the first Dodgers pitcher to start the season opener three years in a row since Derek Lowe (2005-07). ... Only four players on the Giants' 25-man roster weren't on the team last season. ... The Dodgers faced the defending World Series champions on opening day for just the third time in franchise history. In 2011, they played the Giants, and in 1922, when the club was known as the Brooklyn Robins, they faced the New York Giants.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Game Information

    StadiumDodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
    Attendance53,136 (94.9% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time2:25
    Weather63 degrees, cloudy
    Wind7 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Gary Darling, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Clint Fagan

    Research Notes

    Clayton Kershaw had a Game Score of 86 today vs the Giants, the highest by a Dodgers pitcher in an Opening Day game since the team moved to LA.
    It's rare that you can say one player won a game for his team, but Clayton Kershaw did it today. Win Probability Added (WPA) measures how much a player helped or hurt his team's chances to win based on the results of all his plate appearances/batters faced and base stealing attempts, given the context of the game. At the start of a game, each team is given a 50% chance to win, so by the end of the game, the winning team will have added 50 percentage points in total and the losing team will have lost 50 percentage points. In total, Kershaw added 75 percentage points to the Dodgers chances of winning today (50 points with his shutout pitching effort and 25 points with his hitting - the 8th inning go-ahead solo homer added 29 points), meaning that the rest of his team combined to provide negative 25 percentage points to the winning effort.
    From Elias: Clayton Kershaw is the first pitcher in the Modern Era to hit a go-ahead home run in the 8th inning or later of an Opening Day game. He's also the 2nd pitcher in MLB history to throw a shutout and hit a home run in a season opener, joining Hall of Famer Bob Lemon (1953 Indians)
    Clayton Kershaw is only the fifth pitcher to throw an opening-day shutout at Dodger Stadium. The last to do it was none other than Fernando Valenzuela in 1981. ... The other Dodgers to throw one: Don Sutton (1974) and Sandy Koufax (1964). Chris Short of the Phillies in (1968) rounds out the list as the only visiting pitcher to do it.

    ESPN Stats & Information