LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson broke it open with the first grand slam of the Major League season, and it triggered a 14-3 Dodgers pounding over the Padres on Monday. Switch-hitter Yasmani Grandal slugged homers from both sides of the plate and Corey Seager, who missed most of
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson broke it open with the first grand slam of the Major League season, and it triggered a 14-3 Dodgers pounding over the Padres on Monday. Switch-hitter Yasmani Grandal slugged homers from both sides of the plate and Corey Seager, who missed most of Spring Training with an oblique injury, crushed a three-run, opposite field blast.
The four homers were the most in franchise history on an Opening Day. The Dodgers have now won seven consecutive openers, all started by Clayton Kershaw.
Grand slams mean 40% off pizza
"With our guys, it seems like every night something special can happen," said manager Dave Roberts.
With L.A.'s season opener against San Diego tied at 1 in the third inning, Pederson turned around a 91-mph Jhoulys Chacin fastball for a screaming line-drive homer into the right-field box seats, 359 feet away. According to Statcast™, the exit velocity of Pederson's shot was 110.9 mph, with a launch angle of 18 degrees.
It was Pederson's third-hardest homer of the Statcast™ era, with his record 112.2 mph last Aug. 14. Last season he had an average exit velocity of 105.6 mph on homers -- the highest mark on the team.
Pederson's slam was the first for a Dodger on Opening Day since Eric Karros in 2000, and his five RBIs were the most for a Dodger in a season opener since Raul Mondesi had six in 1999. The slam was followed by a back-to-back shot from Grandal, who had the first multi-homer game for a Dodger on Opening Day since Mondesi in '99. It was only the third time in MLB history that a player homered from both sides of the plate on Opening Day (Tony Clark and Felipe Lopez in 2009).
"I was very excited to have my first start on an Opening Day," said Grandal, a former Padre. "For me it was as exciting as a postseason game. I'm just happy with the outcome and also that I was able to help my team win."
The winning theme for the Dodgers on Monday was the production from top to bottom of the batting order. Every starting position player had at least one hit and scored at least one run, including Kershaw.
"You see one through nine with Kershaw hitting, everyone raked today, and it just shows you their pitcher has no letdown," said Pederson. "Anyone at any time can hurt you. It's just awesome to be a part of. It's a fun day. It's only one day and we have a long way to go, but it's encouraging and we're excited."
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.