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Kershaw Starts Strong For Dodgers – MLB Roundup For April 2nd

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers - Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers – Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

UNDATED (AP) — It only seemed fitting that Clayton Kershaw tossed a gem on opening day at Dodgers Stadium after Sandy Koufax threw the ceremonial first pitch to fellow Cy Young Award winner Orel Hershiser.

A one-time Cy Young winner himself, Kershaw hit his first career home run to break a scoreless tie in the eighth inning, then finished off a four-hitter in a 4-0 win over San Francisco. Kershaw became the first pitcher to throw a shutout and hit a home run in an opener since Bob Lemon for Cleveland in 1953, STATS said.

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

The career .146 hitter sent the first pitch from George Kontos over the center-field wall, triggering a standing ovation and prolonged roar from the sellout crowd of 53,000.

In other opening day action in the majors;

— Justin Verlander won on opening day for the first time in six tries, pitching five shutout innings at frosty Target Field as the Tigers topped the Twins 4-2. The game time temperature was 35 degrees with 17 mph winds.

— Bryce Harper hit a pair of home runs to back the seven-inning, three-hit pitching of Stephen Strasburg as Washington opened with a 2-0 win over Miami.

— Ian Kennedy struck out eight while allowing two runs and five hits in seven innings of Arizona’s 6-2 win over St. Louis. Rookie A.J. Pollock was 3 for 4, including a two-run double

— Chris Sale allowed just seven hits and struck out seven while walking one in 7 2/3 innings to pitch the White Sox past Kansas City and James Shields 1-0. Tyler Flowers homered.

— Seattle earned a 2-0 win at Oakland as Felix Hernandez struck out seven over 7 2/3 innings.

— Jeff Samardzija (sah-MAR’-juh) struck out nine in eight nearly flawless innings to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 3-1 season-opening victory over Pittsburgh. The right-hander allowed just two hits and walked one, while Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer.

— Freddie Freeman hit one of three Atlanta home runs and drove in three runs as the Braves topped Philadelphia 7-5.

— Collin Cowgill hit a grand slam to cap a productive opening day for the Mets in an 11-2 win over San Diego. Starter Jonathan Niese (nees) pitched into the seventh inning for the win and added two hits and a walk at the plate.

— Off-season acquisition Shane Victorino drove in three runs to pace Boston to an 8-2 win over the Yankees. The victory marked a successful debut by John Farrell as Red Sox manager.

—Jonathan Lucroy hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 5-4 victory over Colorado, ruining the first game for new Rockies manager Walt Weiss.

— Chris Iannetta singled with the bases loaded in the 13th inning to provide the Angles with a 3-1 win over Cincinnati. Iannetta also homered.

UNDATED (AP) — A person familiar with the negotiations says two-time All-Star shortstop Elvis Andrus has reached an agreement on a $120 million, eight-year extension with the Texas Rangers.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal won’t be finalized until after a physical. That likely won’t happen until Thursday, the day before the team’s home opener.

CINCINNATI (AP) — Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick dislocated his right shoulder while sliding into base in the third inning of their season opener against the Los Angeles Angels. His right arm caught in the dirt on a headfirst slide.

Ludwick was safe, but immediately grabbed the side of his shoulder. He left the game for an examination. He’ll have an MRI on Tuesday to determine the severity of the shoulder injury.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Chicago Cubs have placed second baseman Darwin Barney on the 15-day disabled list because of a laceration on his left knee. He injured the knee while trying to track down a pop-up during Saturday’s exhibition against Houston. The 27-year-old hit .239 in spring training after hitting .254 with seven home runs and 44 RBIs in 156 games for the Cubs in 2012.

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