Dodgers News: Clayton Kershaw Enjoys 6th Consecutive Opening Day Start
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers began a regular season with Clayton Kershaw on the mound for a sixth consecutive year. After another dominant outing from their ace they improved to 6-0 in Opening Day games Kershaw started.

Chase Utley, Corey Seager and Adrian Gonzalez helped spark the Dodgers early, combining for one single, two doubles and two RBIs in the first inning. Kershaw struck out Jon Jay swinging on a pitch outside of the zone to open the bottom of the first, then retired Derek Norris and Matt Kemp.

The San Diego Padres didn’t fare much better in the second inning, with only Yangervis Solarte reaching on a two-out walk. Jay dropped a two-out single in front of Carl Crawford in the third, giving the Padres their second and final baserunner to reach on Kershaw in seven innings.

Just as he was over the previous five Opening Day starts, the left-hander came out of the gate sharp and on a mission to get the Dodgers in the win column. Kershaw finished the day nine strikeouts over seven scoreless frames, retiring 21 of 23 batters faced.

The Dodgers provided their ace with ample run support, taking a commanding 8-0 lead in the sixth, and extending it to 11-0 in the seventh. Los Angeles finished with 15 runs on 17 hits. Kershaw enjoyed being part of the blowout win and explained how used the onslaught as further reason to continue attacking Padres hitters, per ESPN’s Doug Padilla:

“Yeah, it was just a fun day,” Kershaw said. “I think any time you get two runs early in the first — and we just kept adding on and adding on. For me, I was trying to have quick innings, get our guys back in the dugout and let them swing the bats. With 15 [runs], hopefully you can make it stand up, so it feels good.”

Monday’s scoreless outing was the fourth of Kershaw’s six Opening Day starts. He now 4-0, owns a 0.93 ERA and has a combined 44 strikeouts over 38.2 innings in those games. Of Kershaw’s six season openers, only in 2012 did he not toss at least six innings; the flu limited him to three frames that year.

Next for Kershaw is a start against Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on Saturday afternoon.