San Diego Padres History: A Glimpse at All 11 Opening Day Games vs the Los Angeles Dodgers

Credit: AP Photo

April 7, 1986, Dodger Stadium

Six years passed until the next time the Padres and Dodgers had an opening day encounter. This was the first time that a Hall of Fame pitcher was not the starter for either one of these teams as well in these opening day duels. The pitching match-up was still a very enticing one with Eric Show on the mound for Steve Boros and Fernando Valenzuela on the bump for Tommy Lasorda. The game did end as a true pitch duel ending with a 2-1 loss for the San Diego Padres. Steve Sax and Mike Marshall contributed to the score for Los Angeles with Sax getting a RBI single and Mike Marshall getting a solo home run. The lone run for the Padres came in the ninth inning via a single by Gary Templeton that drove in Kevin McReynolds. Eric Show finished the game throwing seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits. Valenzuela weaved himself out of trouble throwing a complete game, only allowing a run but on 10 hits.

April 9, 1990, Dodger Stadium

Just like four years prior to this game, these two teams squared off at Dodger Stadium and a former Cy Young award winner would start for the Dodgers yet again. Bruce Hurst received the nod for Jack McKeon, while Tommy Lasorda counted with Orel Hershiser for this duel. The Friars struck first in the game with Fred Lynn delivering a solo shot off Hershiser in the top of the second inning. The game turned out to be a great pitching duel like some of the previous opening day encounters, Hershiser going six innings allowing one run on three hits. John Wetteland replaced the 1988 Cy Young award winner in the top of the seventh inning. Benito Santiago picked up a single with two outs in the top of the seventh, then Gary Templeton obtained a RBI double to make it a 2-0 lead for Trader Jack’s team.

The Dodgers finally, got to Bruce Hurst in the bottom of the seventh inning, Hubie Brooks scoring on a fielder’s choice. After a solid inning by John Wetteland in the top of the eighth, the Dodgers would get to Bruce Hurst again in the bottom half of the inning. Alfredo Griffin starting it off with a single, then Jose Gonzalez bunting Griffin over to second base on a sacrifice. Griffin advanced to third after Juan Samuel flew out in the next at-bat. With two outs and Alfredo Griffin on third, Hurst walked Willie Randolph, which proved to be costly for Jack McKeon. With runners on first and third, Hubie Brooks hit a three-run dinger to give the Dodgers a 4-2 lead heading into the ninth inning. Unfortunately, Don Aase ended any chances of a comeback for the Friars, getting himself the save and giving Tommy Lasorda and the Dodgers a 4-2 victory on opening day.

April 5, 2004, Dodger Stadium

Credit: AP Photo

Fourteen years passed until the next time the Padres faced the Dodgers on opening day. The match would again be played at Dodger Stadium for the fifth consecutive time. The pitching match-up for the game was an odd one with Brian Lawrence starting for the Friars and a 35-year-old, Hideo Nomo starting for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Padres were the first ones to score, the first run of the game coming in the third inning of the game. Brian Lawrence started the top of the third by helping himself out, getting a double off Hideo Nomo. A sacrifice bunt by Sean Burroughs then advanced Lawrence to third base. Mark Loretta then singled to drive in his starting pitcher and make it a 1-0 game for Bruce Bochy’s side. Nomo got out of the inning not allowing any more runs and kept zeros on the board until the fifth inning of the clash.

With one out, Brian Lawrence again started it off for his team getting a single. Sean Burroughs was then hit by a pitch to make it runners on first and second for the Pads. Mark Loretta did not come up big again as he flew out to make it two outs with two on for Brian Giles, who walked to load up the bases for Phil Nevin. The Padres’ first baseman came up huge, getting a grand slam to make it a 5-0 game for the Friars at Hideo Nomo’s expense. The runs did not end there as Ryan Klesko walked and then Jay Payton took Nomo deep to make it a 7-0 game for San Diego. The inning ended with the Padres walking away with the huge lead and Hideo Nomo suffering throughout it. In the bottom half of the inning, Sawn Green pulled one back for the Boys in Blue, getting a solo home run, making it a 7-1 game. The Dodgers would get another run in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Adrian Beltre and Jason Grabowski singled off Ismael Valdez, then Cesar Izturis drove in Beltre to make it 7-2. The home did not get anything else in the inning except for that run and the score remained the same until the eighth inning.

With Wilson Alvarez on the mound, Khalil Green started off the top of the eighth with a single. Reliever, Scott Linebrink then bunted over the Friars’ shortstop over to second base on a sacrifice. Sean Burroughs then singled to drive in Green and make it a six-run lead by the Padres, making it an 8-2 encounter. The San Diego Padres maintained the lead, Jay Witasick rounding up the game striking out Robin Ventura. The victory was huge for the Padres at the time, unfortunately, the series ended with the Dodgers winning the next two games of it.

April 6, 2009, Petco Park

2009 marked the first time that the San Diego Padres hosted the Los Angeles Dodgers on opening day since 1973 and the first opening day encounter between the two teams at Petco Park as well. The pitching matchup set for the duel was an enticing one with Jake Peavy on the mound for Bud Black and Hiroki Kuroda starting for Joe Torre. The game started out rough for Peavy with Rafael Furcal and Orlando Hudson getting back-to-back base hits to put runners on first and second for the Dodgers. After two straight flyouts by Manny Ramirez and Andre Ethier, Furcal and Hudson Performed a double steal to get to third and second base. Peavy then walked Russell Martin to load up the bases with two outs. James Loney then singled to open the score at Petco Park, driving in Furcal and Hudson, giving the Dodgers a 2-0 lead after the first inning of the game.

The Friars quickly pulled it back in the bottom half of the inning, Jody Gerut getting himself a double off Hiroki Kuroda. David Eckstein bunted over Gerut to third base in the next at-bat, then on a Brian Giles’ groundout, Gerut scored, narrowing the Dodgers lead to only a run making it a 2-1 game. The slim lead was then doubled in the third inning of the game when Andre Ethier drove in Manny Ramirez on a single making it 3-1. The Dodgers maintained the lead comfortably throughout the game, even adding to it with a solo home run by Matt Kemp in the top of the seventh inning. The score remained 4-1 with Jonathan Broxton closing out the game for Joe Torre and giving the away team the opening day victory.

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 26, Chula Vista/Tijuana. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres' 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the local soccer scene. Tijuana Xolos, San Diego Loyal, San Diego Wave.
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