for this game

Kershaw, Dodgers start season with win Down Under

Mar 22, 2014 - 11:50 PM Sydney, Australia ( - Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers kicked off the 2014 Major League Baseball season with a win Down Under.

Kershaw, the National League's reigning Cy Young Award winner, tossed 6 2/3 solid innings in the Dodgers' 3-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks at the fabled Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday in Australia.

Kershaw (1-0) allowed one run on five hits while striking out seven in his fourth consecutive Opening Day start for the Dodgers, who rewarded their ace with a seven-year, $215 million extension this offseason.

The left-hander captured his second NL Cy Young Award honor in three years with a brilliant 2013 campaign that saw him lead the majors with a 1.83 earned run average and topped the NL with 232 strikeouts, while posting a 16-9 record over 33 starts.

Scott Van Slyke hit a two-run homer for Los Angeles, which won the National League West title last season before losing in the NLCS, where they were beaten by the St. Louis Cardinals in six games.

"He's always been an RBI guy, a guy that's driven in runs in the minor leagues," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Van Slyke. "He's a guy that you just gotta pay attention to a little bit."

Mark Trumbo drove in the lone run for the Diamondbacks, who have finished .500 in each of the last two seasons. Trumbo was traded to Arizona this offseason in a three-team deal that also involved the Angels and White Sox.

Wade Miley (0-1) got the start for Arizona and gave up three runs on three hits while fanning eight over five full frames. The left-hander went 10-10 with a 3.55 ERA in 33 starts last year.

Patrick Corbin was supposed to be the Opening Day starter for the Diamondbacks. However, he was forced to leave his final tune-up with an elbow injury that could result in season-ending surgery.

Rain and thunderstorms delayed the start of the game by 14 minutes. Once the weather cleared, Yasiel Puig struck out on three pitches to begin the new season. Puig was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.

Aaron Hill got the first hit in the bottom half of the first inning. Paul Goldschmidt followed Hill's infield single with a base hit to left. The runners advanced to second and third on Martin Prado's groundout. Trumbo stranded the runners when he grounded out.

The Dodgers got on the board in the second. Adrian Gonzalez walked, moved to third on Van Slyke's double to left and crossed the plate when Andre Ethier grounded out to second.

Los Angeles tacked on two more runs in the fourth. Gonzalez struck out swinging but advanced to first on a wild pitch. Van Slyke followed with a blast over the wall in right, making it 3-0.

Arizona finally got a run off Kershaw in the sixth. Goldschmidt led off with a double to center, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Trumbo's groundout.

"Kershaw did a good job of keeping us in the middle of the diamond," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said of the LA left-hander. "(He) threw a good ballgame against us."

Kershaw exited with a runner on first and two outs in the seventh. Former Indians closer Chris Perez came in from the bullpen and got the final out of the inning.

Brian Wilson pitched a perfect eighth and Kenley Jansen worked around a two- out walk in the ninth to pick up the save.

Game Notes

A crowd of 38,266 watched as MLB played its first regular-season game in Australia ... The Dodgers and Diamondbacks will wrap up this two-game series on Sunday ... The MLB season opened in another country for the seventh time and first since Seattle and Oakland began the 2012 campaign in Japan.