By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer

The L.A. Dodgers finally began their 60 game COVID-19 shortened season with a 8-1 win over San Francisco at the Stadium. Before the game Dodger newcomer Mookie Betts took a knee and he was joined by Giants players including Mike Yazstremski, Pablo Sandervol and Gabe Kapler. On the back of the mound was “BLM” Black Lives Matter. Dodgers Ace Clayton Kershaw was a late scratch after experiencing soreness in his back. He was replaced by right hander Dustin May who originally was not going to be on the roster. After a Corey Seager double Keke Hernandez knocked in the Dodgers first run of the year with a bloop single to left center. Hernandez finished the day with four hits and five RBI’s. The Giants only run came in the third when Heineman scored on a sacrifice fly by Sandoval. Johnny Cueto pitched four frames and gave up one run. May went 4 and 1/3 innings giving up seven hits and one run for the Dodgers. 

Game Two- It was more of the same as Max Muncy homered in the first. In the 4th he doubled then scored on a Justin Turner double giving the home team a 3-1 lead. In the sixth Muncy again went to “Rip City” with a homer to center. In the seventh Mookie Betts singled to center scoring Joc Peterson giving him his first RBI as a Dodger. In the bottom of the eighth Chris Taylor knocked in Bellinger with a single to left. Later in the frame Will Smith drew a four-pitch walk to scoring Hernandez making the final 9-1. Ross Stripling got the win going seven solid innings striking out seven and walking just four.  

Game Three- The Giants got tired of being kicked around Mike Yazstrzemski had two hits and scored a run and Donavon Salano had two hits to go with two RBI’s to help give the “Hated Ones’ their first  win of the season 5-4.Caleb Baragar got the win in relief tossing two scoreless inning striking out a batter. Starter Logan Weeb scattered six hits striking out two while yielding just a run. In the third Mookie Betts got his first stolen base as a Dodger then scored on single by Bellinger to tie the game 1-1. Chris Taylor and Turner had two hits each and Corey Seager had two RBI’s.

Game Four- Julio Urias got his first start of the and at times struggled a bit throwing 78 pitches striking out three, walking three giving up a run in five innings of work. The Giants Maurico  Dublin singled in Darin Ruf in the seventh for a 3-1 lead and that’s how it ended. Wandy Perolta (1-0) got the win and Shaun Anderson got the save his first. Brustar Graterol took the loss for the Dodgers who end the opening series at 2-2. They travel to Houston this week for the first COVID road trip it will be the first time they returned since the 2017 World Series. 

DODGER NOTES: Mookie Betts signed a 12-year contract extension for 365 million dollars according to reports. Betts was due to make 27 million this year but it will be prorated. After missing his Opening Day start Kershaw Clayton threw a 15 minute bullpen session. He had 28 starts last season finishing with a 3.03 era and a 16-5 record. The Dodgers have teamed-up with Postmates and now you can have Dodger Dogs and garlic fries, carne asada helmet nachos and more delivered to your home. “In launching Home Plate were bringing the unforgettable experience of Dodger Stadium home to Angelenos,” said President of dodger business  enterprise Tucker Kain. You can go to www.Dodgers.com/HomePlates . It’s all part of a changing new world we live in.