SYDNEY (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks should have figured they were in for a tough time against the Los Angeles Dodgers after being shut out a day earlier by Team Australia in an exhibition game.
It didn’t get any easier for manager Kirk Gibson’s team, either.
Some of the Arizona players walked a half-mile to Sydney Cricket Ground after a team bus got a flat tire. Then, they had to face Clayton Kershaw in the Major League Baseball season opener Saturday night.
Kershaw flashed his Cy Young form, Scott Van Slyke homered and the NL West champion Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 3-1 Saturday night.
“We’d like to score more runs, and I think offensively we’re a much better club than we’ve shown here,” Gibson said.
The Diamondbacks had just five hits — same as the Dodgers — but didn’t do much with them.
Kershaw struck out leadoff man A.J. Pollock on three pitches. But Aaron Hill’s sharp grounder went off the glove of shortstop Hanley Ramirez for a single and Paul Goldschmidt singled between short and third to put runners at first and second with one out.
They moved up a base on an infield out, but were left there when Mark Trumbo grounded out.
Another missed opportunity, one of many over the past two nights.
“They pitched well against us,” Gibson said. “We have 161 games left, so you try and learn some things and learn what they’re trying to do against us and hopefully we’ll do better tomorrow. Our lineup’s a solid lineup, but not good enough tonight.”
As for the bus mishap, Gibson said he wasn’t aboard.
“It wasn’t a big deal, they didn’t mind walking the rest of the way,” he said.
Kershaw departed in the seventh inning after throwing 102 pitches and striking out seven.
Three relievers kept the Diamondbacks scoreless with hitless work. Chris Perez, a five-time All-Star with Cleveland before joining the Dodgers in the offseason, got the last out in the seventh.
Brian Wilson pitched the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen got the save. Jansen walked a batter before getting Gerardo Parra to ground out to end the game.
Wade Miley, who came out for a pinch hitter in the fifth, got the opening day assignment because of a left elbow injury to Diamondbacks ace Patrick Corbin. Miley gave up three runs and three hits, striking out eight with two walks.
The Diamondbacks scored in the sixth after a double by Paul Goldschmidt, who had two hits. He moved to third on Kershaw’s wild pitch and scored on Mark Trumbo’s infield out.
Arizona was blanked 5-0 in an exhibition game Friday by Team Australia and stranded 11 runners.
On Sunday, Trevor Cahill will try to get the Diamondbacks square on the year when he pitches against South Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who moved up to the No. 2 Dodgers starter due to Zack Greinke’s right calf injury.
Gibson said Saturday’s opener was a great spectacle for the sport, though it was different than being at Chase Field.
“It wasn’t exactly like an opening day at home, but it was an electric atmosphere,” he said. “Opening days, I think we more think of our home stadiums, the whole city’s kind of got a buzz, kind of like a holiday.
“But it was a great crowd tonight. They did a great job with the field and the rain held off. I felt it was a great event.”
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