LOS ANGELES (AP) — Justin Turner homered in the sixth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated their World Series ring ceremony day with a 1-0 victory over the Washington Nationals on Friday.
Walker Buehler pitched six strong innings as the Dodgers won a tidy pitchers’ duel in their home opener without injured star outfielders Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger.
Joe Ross threw five scoreless innings of two-hit ball for the Nationals, who lost their third straight after starting the season late and short-handed due to coronavirus cases and quarantines.
The Dodgers received their World Series championship rings in a pregame event in front of the fans who weren’t allowed inside Dodger Stadium in 2020 while their franchise won its seventh title. Clayton Kershaw, Betts and their teammates were cheered by a pandemic-limited sellout crowd of 15,036 while they got their jewelry at Chavez Ravine.
Corey Knebel struck out the side in the ninth for his second save, completing the shutout by four Dodgers pitchers in this meeting of the last two World Series champions. Washington was shut out for the second straight game, although Wednesday’s whitewash was the back end of a seven-inning doubleheader.
Fans hadn’t been in Dodger Stadium since Game 5 of the 2019 NL Division Series, when the Nationals eliminated Los Angeles on the way to their own championship. Washington also kept the powerhouse Dodgers out of the World Series for the only time in the past four seasons.
Buehler (1-0) yielded six hits with four strikeouts and no walks in another strong start for LA.
Buehler’s zeros were matched by Ross, who struck out four in his first real game since 2019. The right-hander opted out last year but returned to win a rotation spot with Washington.
The Dodgers didn’t get a runner to second base until Turner hammered a two-out changeup from former Los Angeles reliever Luis Avilán (0-1) into the left field bleachers.
Turner, the 36-year-old Southern California native and childhood Dodgers fan who finally won his first World Series last October, returned to Los Angeles with a two-year contract in February. He received some of the loudest cheers in the pregame ceremony, befitting his status as a fan favorite beginning his eighth season with the club.
Washington opened the eighth with two hits off Blake Treinen, but the reliever escaped the jam with help from Victor Robles, who got caught trying to steal second with nobody out and the tying run at third.
Nationals: C Yan Gomes, C Alex Avila, closer Brad Hand and INF Jordy Mercer were reinstated from the injured list. Manager Dave Martinez said they all cleared COVID-19 protocols and flew to Los Angeles on a chartered jet early Friday along with LHP Patrick Corbin, who could start Saturday.
Dodgers: Bellinger went on the injured list with a bruised left calf after getting spiked Monday in Oakland. … Betts missed his second straight start with back stiffness.
Julio Urías (1-0, 1.29 ERA) takes the Dodger Stadium mound for the first time since getting the final seven outs of the World Series. The Nationals didn’t immediately announce their starter.
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