The opening bout of the Mexico Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres was historic on many levels. For one, it was the club’s first trip to Monterrey since 1991 and first international game since 2014.
It was a successful opening contest at that, as the Dodgers extended their win streak to three games after the quartet of Walker Buehler, Tony Cingrani, Yimi Garcia and Adam Liberatore collectively accounted for the first combined no-hitter in franchise history.
Digging deeper, it was the 23rd overall no-hitter in Dodgers history and first since Clayton Kershaw accomplished the feat by himself in 2014.
As part of the pregame festivities, Dodgers legend Fernando Valenzuela was given the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey in front of a sold-out crowd.
Valenzuela is one of the more popular baseball players to ever come out of Mexico. That stems from his success with the Dodgers during the 1980s, where he captured National League Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award honors in 1981, as well as winning a World Series championship that year.
Valenzuela last threw out a first pitch before Game 2 of the 2017 World Series. Natives of Mexico, he and fellow countryman Julio Urias accompanied Los Angeles on their trip to Monterrey. Additionally, Padres third baseman Christian Villanueva, who is also a Mexico native, caught Valenzuela’s first pitch.
While Urias couldn’t suit up with the Dodgers on the field as he recovers from shoulder surgery, the club was additionally represented by Alex Verdugo, who played for Team Mexico in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.