By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
It’s been a long time coming for the World Champion L.A. Dodgers playing in front of their fans after winning the World Series. They finished off the first home-stand by sweeping Washington.
The series finale featured two future Hall of Fame pitchers lefty Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer of the Nationals. They both went six innings with Kershaw (2-1) scattering five hits, striking out 6, no walks on 85 pitches. Meanwhile Scherzer allowed three hits, one earned run ,a walk while striking out five on 90 pitches in front of 15,049 at Chavez Ravine.
The man that stood out offensively was the Zach McKinstry. The Dodgers rookie hit a two-out run coring double off Scherzer in the second inning for a 1-0 lead. Then in the seventh after a Chris Taylor single he went to “Rip City” with a two-run homer off reliever Tanner Rainey giving L.A. a 3-0 lead that would end all scoring. Kenley Jansen came in and retired three in a row for the save. That helped complete a three-game sweep on the first home stand of the season.
“It feels great to be in front of our fans again,” said Kershaw. “I can’t wait to get more back in the seats. The crafty veteran now sports a 2.89 ERA in three starts this season.
The team has been helped a lot by McKinstry, the 25year-old is batting .321 with two homers and four doubles he also leads the team with 10 RBI’s (at press time). He’s filled in for Mookie Betts and Corey Bellinger and been clutch with two-out hits. Betts is out with back stiffness and Bellinger has a calf injury.
“He’s a baseball player I think that’s the best complement you can give someone who has played our game,” added Kershaw.
The Dodgers had a lot going on aside the games they actually had play. Opening night was the World Series ring ceremony when the team came away with a 1-0 win over the Nationals. Justin Turner had three hits including a solo homer to lead L.A. to the win in the teams first game at Chavez Ravine since they won the title last year.
Walker Buehler (1-0) pitched six solid innings allowing just six hits, striking out four and had no walks. In the ninth Corey Knebel struck out the side to get the save for Buehler.
“Were deep and talented, that’s what we are all about here,” said Buehler. “We know that anybody in there is going to play well and we are pleased with the group we have and where we are.”
DODGER NOTES: Jansen got his second save of the season striking out two of the three batters he faced. “I saw the stuff he had he was hitting all his spots,” said skipper Dave Roberts. The team has called up outfielder Luke Raley. They have placed Cody Bellenger on the injured list with a calf contusion, retroactive to April 6.This will be Raley’s whose 26 first time in his career he’ll be on a MLB roster. In the minors he hit 288 with 46 homers and 178 RBI’s while playing 347 games. He was acquired by the DODGERS from Minnesota February 10,2020… Bellinger was batting 211 in four games had a double, triple and two RBI’s before landing on the injured list. The 2019 National League MVP has batted 272 with 123 homers and 320 RBI’s in his five years with the DODGERS. The 2017 Rookie Of The Year was a fourth-round pick from Hamilton high.