Dodgers Open Season

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Wins are the payoff, not runs scored per game. The Dodgers began their season by hosting San Francisco this past weekend, managed 13 runs, and took three of four from the defending World Series champs.

Hiroki Kuroda notched a 7-5 victory Sunday as Matt Kemp ripped a two-run homer in the first inning, and added four runs in the seventh on Marcus Thames’s run-scoring triple, Aaron Miles’s run-scoring hit, Rafael Furcal’s run-scoring double and Andre Ethier’s run-scoring hit.

The Giants tallied single runs on Pablo Sandoval’s homer in the second, Buster Posey’s single in the sixth, Pat Burrell’s homer in the seventh, a run batted in from Brandon Belt in the eighth and Aaron Rowand’s solo homer in the ninth.

Clayton Kershaw was the opening-day starter and picked up a 2-1 win Thursday while allowing four hits, no runs with nine strikeouts and one walk over seven innings.

On Friday, right-hander Chad Billingsley held the Giants to three runs, fanning four with one walk across six innings of a 4-3 triumph.

Soft-tossing left-hander Ted Lilly was no match for hard-throwing right-hander Matt Cain on Saturday as the Dodgers were white-washed, 10-0.

In the opener, the Dodgers faced two-time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum, who went seven innings, allowing three walks, five hits and one unearned run.

Kemp is gunning for a breakout year, and with his incredible power-stroke and base-stealing speed, should reach All-Star caliber.

As expected, the mound-matchup held form until Kemp singled in the sixth, and later scored on an error. Kemp walked for the third time in the eighth, stole second and scored on James Loney’s double.

Burrell nailed Dodgers’ closer Jonathan Broxton (three saves) for a homer in the ninth, and picked up his initial save after struggling with his control for much of last season.

On Friday, the Dodgers were able to touch Jonathan Sanchez for seven hits and four runs (two earned) over five and two-third frames.

The Giants rallied for a two-run lead in the fourth when Belt cracked a three-run homer off Billingsley.

Loney drove in a run, while Kemp (two hits and one run) and Furcal (two hits) had RBIs.

San Francisco’s Freddy Sanchez, who attended Burbank High and Glendale College, homered, doubled and singled, finished with three RBIs and scored two runs on Saturday. Aubrey Huff (two hits) had three RBIs, and Miguel Tejada (two hits and two runs) had two RBIs.

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