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Dodgers pitcher Ted Lilly had a goal in mind and that was to continue the winning streak over the Padres. Fresh of the disabled list, Lilly struggled a little as he gave up a single to Cameron Maybin. He also gave up another key hit to Jose Guzman allowing Maybin to score and the Padres took the the 1-0 lead.
Lilly would settle down as got into a comfortable rhythm to get out of the inning.
Dodger bats hit often and early, as Padres pitcher Joe Wieland walked Dee Gordon, which is dangerous for any defense when Gordon gets on base. Tony Gwynn Jr, hit a deep sacrifice fly to center, Gordon advances to center. Next up Matt Kemp as the crowd loudly chants M-V-P, and Kemp connects on a two run homer, giving the Dodger the lead. The Bats didn’t cool off as Andre Either next up, hit a huge home run, to increase the lead. As James Loney made it on base, Adam Kennedy hit a great sacrifice fly, that caused Loney to score, 4-1.
Wieland wasn’t done handing out gifts, as Gywnn singled and got on base, Kemp reconnected with the ball hitting a monster home run, his second of the day to increase the lead 6-1 in the bottom of the second inning. Lilly was sensational, striking out batters, mixing up his pitches to keep the Padres bats shut off from any hope of scoring.
It was MacDougal time in the eight as Mike MacDougal relieved Lilly to strike out 2 and cause Parrino to fly out to center to end the inning.
Jamey Wright came in to close out the ninth, causing Guzman to fly out to right and end the game giving the Dodger the dominate victory 6-1 over the Padres.
Lilly pitched seven innings on 79 pitches for two hits, four strike outs and one run, while Wieland pitched five innings, on six hits, three home runs and one strike out.
Lilly spoke how he wanted to go more innings “For the most part I was throwing strike one, getting them in swing mode early and then expanding the zone. I felt like I could have stayed in there, but we had a couple of guys who could use some innings.”
Wieland also discussed his dismal performance “I would have liked to start out a little better, but I didn’t locate my fastball early. First-time jitters definitely affected me in that first inning.”
SAN DIEGO, CA – After a sensational start for Opening Day, the Dodgers look to keep the momentum as the face their neighbors from the south the Padres, in an evening showdown.
Chad Billingsley had a tall task at hand, yet was recharged and ready for the challenge, just a day after Cy Young Winner Clayton Kershaw came out of the opener due to stomach flu. Padres pitcher Cory Luebke didn’t start out well, after having Dodger hitters Mark Ellis and Juan Rivera on first and second base. With two outs in the first inning Andre Either hit a double to right center allowing Ellis and Rivera to score, Dodgers led 2-0.
Ellis hit a double, then Matt Kemp hit an infield single, with Padres third baseman Chase Headley’s throw pulling first baseman Yonder Alonso off the bag. Ellis made a move to slide home, Alonso made a bad throw, for an error which allowed Kemp to move to second base in the third inning. Thanks to Luebke lackluster throw, the attempt to pick off Kemp failed, as he was able to move to third. Rivera hit a single, that scored Kemp, Dodgers led 4-0.
Billingsley continued to dominate, punishing the Padres, as he continued to receive run support from his fellow Dodger hitters.
Luebke walks Rivera, Kemp hits a single, and now with runners in scoring position Andre Either comes to the plate. With two outs in the fifth inning, Either knocked a triple off the right field fence, scoring Rivera and Kemp to make increase the lead 6-0.
The Padres would go on to make two more errors in the game, which brought the total of five errors in two games.
Billingsley continued to put the pressure on the Padres as he continued to keep them off balance all night with strikes, throwing a series of change ups and sliders.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was anxious to get Billingsley relieve in the ninth inning. Billingsley knew if he allowed a hit or a run, that he would be yanked immediately. As he faced Cameron Maybin who singled with one out, Mattingly came out to get his perfect pitcher for the night. Billingsley didn’t seem bothered by it, as he retired 11 batters, allowed three hits on 108 pitches in his shutout season debut. Dodger fans were not happy at all by the Mattingly move, as there were boos from the Dodger faithful.
Jamey Wright got the save as the Dodger defeated the Padres 6-0, who were shut out so far twice this season. Last season they set a major league record being shut out 19 times.
Padres manager Bud Black spoke about Billingsley’s perfect performance “Tonight was probably as good as I’ve seen him from start to finish, throwing the ball extremely well to both sides of the plate and mixing pitches.”
“It was just one of those days that everything felt really good. Good tempo, good rhythm out there” Billingsley speaking about his performance.
Dodger manager Don Mattingly talked about why he didn’t allow Billingsley to finish the game “You just can’t do it first time out. I’m not going to let him run up to 120 the first time out of the gate. He’s probably been to 103 or something this year in spring training. He wanted to go back out in the ninth, but it was like, if anybody got on there our biggest nightmare was having to get six or eight pitches to get an out.”
The Dodgers continue their quest of perfection as they take on the Padres on Saturday, sending Chris Capuano to the mound against a sharp Dustin Moseley.
SAN DIEGO, CA – Once you heard the golden voice of baseball make his announcement “it’s time for Dodger baseball” you knew the 2012 Season was official. The Dodgers started the season this year on the road with the their neighbors to the south, the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. 2011 NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw never though he’d wake with a bad case of the stomach flu for Thursday debut. After pleading and convincing manager Don Mattingly not to scratch him for the start, Kershaw went out and battled like a champ, throwing three shut out inning before calling it a day due to effects of the stomach flu. Mattingly pulls him just before the fourth inning to replace him with pitcher Josh Lindblom, who ironically wasn’t sure he would make it to the Opening Day roster.
The fourth inning proved to be the breakaway opportunity the Dodgers needed as Padres pitcher Edinson Volquez threw several walks allowing the Dodgers to score two much needed runs. The Padres also picked up three errors in the inning. The scoring didn’t stop in the fifth inning as the Dodgers got into position to score again thanks to a Dee Gordon triple error as the ball bounced off the glove of Padres Cameron Maybin. Matt Kemp hit a grounder that allowed Gordon to score making it 3-0.
The Padres finally got on the board as they scored a run thanks to Jesus Guzman RBI double, ending the scoreless drought in the sixth inning.
The eight inning, it was all Matt Kemp as he hit a home run that flew to right of pitcher Brad Brach, to give the Dodgers a commanding 5-1 lead. The Padres weren’t done as Maybin blasted about a 445 foot home run off Kensley Jensen to bring the Padres back within two, down just 5-3.
Javy Guerra came in the ninth inning to secure the save as the Dodgers take the first game of the series 5-3. Lindblom who pitched two perfect innings in Kershaw’s absence, get the win. Kemp finished the day with 3 RBI’s and 1 home run. After the home run, a happy Kemp talked about what happened when he was congratulated by new owner Magic Johnson “right when I came back from hitting the home run, he stuck his head in the dugout and said, ‘Nice job, kid”.
Padres manager Bud Black talked about the absence of Clayton Kershaw “It’s nice to get him out of the game, thinking the Cy Young Award winner is out and you have six innings to go score runs”.
Friday the Padres have another opportunity to turn things around as they send Cory Luebke to the mound against Dodgers’ Chad Billingsley at 7:05PM.
*In attendance was former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt sitting next to one of the new Dodger owners Magic Johnson. An enthusiastic Johnson was seen several times cheering on his new ball club throughout the game.