LOS ANGELES — Kike Hernandez slammed a two-run home run in the eighth to complete a four-hit, five-RBI (new career-high) night, tacking on the final insurance runs in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 8-1 win over the San Francisco Giants. Brusdar Graterol finished the game with a scoreless ninth.
It’s the team’s second-straight opening day win of seven runs.
Adam Kolarek, the left-handed specialist who is adapting to MLB’s new rule requiring relievers to face at least three batters or pitch to the end of a half-inning, looked sharp in his season debut. The southpaw needed two pitches to get two outs in the seventh, then retired the side in the eighth, including two strikeouts.
His 12/3-inning appearance is longer than any of the 26 appearances he made with the Dodgers last year after being acquired mid-season from Tampa Bay.
Newly signed star Mookie Betts scored the go-ahead run for the Dodgers in the bottom of the seventh. After reaching base with a one-out single (his first as a Dodger), Betts advanced to third on a Cody Bellinger double and raced home on a ground ball from Justin Turner, beating out a tag at the plate.
The Giants challenged the call that Betts was safe, but the call was upheld.
The Dodgers tacked onto their lead later in the inning. Although Bellinger was tagged out in a run-down between third and home, Hernandez drove in two runs with an RBI single, his third hit and second and third RBI of the night. Three of the Dodgers’ four runs came with two outs.
After Hernandez’s two-run hit, Joc Pederson and AJ Pollock drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Austin Barnes then drove in a run with an infield single aided by Pollock beating a throw at second before Max Muncy walked with the bases juiced to plate another run.
Five runs scored before Betts struck out to end the inning.