Dodgers and Kershaw take opener
Clayton Kershaw picked up his first home post-season victory as the Dodgers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-5 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
The premier pitcher of his generation, at least in the regular season, Kershaw has just not performed in the play-offs leading to early exits for the Dodgers on multiple occasions.
And to be honest, the 29-year-old left-hander wasn't all that sharp on Friday allowing four home runs over 6 1-3 innings.
Arizona had five hits and three walks while striking out seven times against the LA ace, but keeping the Diamondbacks home runs to solo shots allowed Kershaw to record the victory.
Justin Turner drove in five for the hosts on the night including three in the first with a home run, as the Dodgers staked Kershaw to a big early lead.
Rich Hill will be hoping for similar support on Saturday when heads to the mound against Robbie Ray in Game 2 of the series.
Meanwhile, over in Washington the Nationals will look to even their series against the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs.
Gio Gonzalez gets the call for Washington, with Chicago scheduled to counter with Jon Lester.
Nationals' manager Dusty Baker is one of the better regular season managers in the game, but his teams always seem to come up short in the play-offs.
Losers to the Cubs in the opening game of the series, the Nationals cannot afford to fall into a 2-0 hole before the teams' head over to Wrigley Field in Chicago for Game 3.
The Cubs are 4.50 to win the National League title, with the Dodgers 1.60 and the Nationals 4.50.
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