LOS ANGELES — Will Smith went 3 for 5 and drove in three runs, James Outman homered and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-2 on Thursday night, March 30 in their season opener.
Julio Urías (1-0), last year’s NL ERA leader at 2.16, got the victory in his first career opening-day start. The left-hander allowed four hits and two runs in six innings. He struck out six.
“It was an unforgettable experience,” Urías said. “It was really special to me.”
All three of Smith’s hits went to right field in a game that lasted 2 hours, 35 minutes under new rules this season designed to speed things up.
The game-time temperature was a chilly 55 degrees. Batting practice was rained out and the tarp covered the infield.
Thankfully, the clouds cleared prior to the first pitch, revealing rare snow atop the San Gabriel Mountains that framd the outfield.
The Dodgers won a franchise-record 111 games last season only to lose to the rival San Diego Padres in their National League Division Series. It was hard bidding farewell to Trea Turner, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger in the offseason, helping make the roster a bit younger.
Outman is part of that youth movement, having made the opening-day roster off a strong spring showing. The 25-year-old center fielder hammered a two-run shot to left-center in the sixth, extending the lead to 7-2.
“I don’t think any moment is going to be too big for him,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s just got a quiet confidence.”
Mookie Betts made the defensive play of the game in the sixth. Ketel Marte singled to right, Betts picked up the ball barehanded and in one motion made a two-hop throw to get Marte stretching at second.
The Dodgers broke open a 2-2 game in the fifth. Smith had an RBI single, J.D. Martinez’s RBI single chased Zac Gallen, and David Peralta singled off Cole Sulser to give Los Angeles a 5-2 lead.
Opening day at Chavez Ravine always gives Dodger fans chills regardless of the weather. The Dodger blue fans dealt with the wet conditions to enjoy another opening day, and were rewarded with the
The Dodgers had three Cy Young Award winners toss out ceremonial first pitches. Orel Hershiser, Éric Gagné and Fernando Valenzuela took their turns to loud cheering. Their catchers were Roberts and former backstops Rick Dempsey and Mike Scioscia. Watching from the owner’s box was 87-year-old Sandy Koufax, a three-time Cy Young Award winner.
Tonight, the Diamondbacks play the Los Angeles Dodgers at 7:10 pm at Dodgers Stadium.