Mookie Betts Takes Knee Earlier than Dodgers Debut; Goes 1-For-5 In Win Over Giants

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LOS ANGELES (AP/CBS) — Mookie Betts singled within the seventh inning for his first hit as a Los Angeles Dodger, then signaled for the ball.

That, together with the lineup card, is headed for a show in his home.

“That is one thing I’ll at all times keep in mind,” he stated Thursday evening after scoring the go-ahead run in an 8-1 opening victory over the San Francisco Giants in a fan-less stadium. “It’s only a new chapter in life.”

Betts went 1 for five with two strikeouts, a day after signing a $365 million contract protecting 2021-32. He was acquired by the Dodgers in a blockbuster commerce with the Pink Sox again in February.

Betts spoke with out his bat when he kneeled in the course of the nationwide anthem. Teammates Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy stood resting a hand on every of his shoulders. Giants supervisor Gabe Kapler, in his first sport as Bruce Bochy’s successor, kneeled, too.

“It was simply unity,” Betts stated. “We’re all on the identical workforce, we’re all right here for change, even the Giants.”

Betts’ perspective on kneeling has modified since 2016, when he stated he wouldn’t take such motion. His father, Willie, served in Vietnam with the U.S. Air Drive.

“I wasn’t educated, and that’s my fault,” Betts stated. “I do know my dad served and I’ll by no means disrespect the flag, however there additionally must be change. Kneeling is for the injustice.”

Kiké Hernández homered and drove in 5 runs whereas tying his profession excessive with 4 hits for Los Angeles.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” he stated.

Justin Turner grounded right into a fielder’s selection and Betts beat second baseman Donovan Solano’s throw to the plate to offer the Dodgers a 2-1 lead within the seventh. The Giants misplaced their video problem of the decision after Betts slid head-first.

“If that out is recorded on the plate, I feel we’re speaking a few a lot totally different sport,” Kapler stated.

Betts struck out with the bases loaded, ending a five-run inning that made it 6-1.

Adam Kolarek (1-0) acquired the victory with 1 2/Three innings of reduction.

Dustin Might turned the primary Dodgers rookie to begin on opening day since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 after Clayton Kershaw went on the injured checklist due to a again difficulty. It was just like when Valenzuela was a late substitute for the injured Jerry Reuss again then.

“He stored his composure,” Hernández stated. “He wasn’t nervous or intimidated by the quantity of cardboards we had within the stands.”

Might allowed one run and 7 hits in four 1/Three innings. The 6-foot-6 right-hander struck out 4 and walked none.

“It’s the form of factor you dream about, throwing on opening day,” Might stated. “As soon as the primary pitch was thrown I used to be all good and able to get going.”

Might initially was not on the 30-man energetic roster, and the 22-year-old discovered himself pressed into responsibility after Kershaw’s again stiffened throughout a weight room exercise on Tuesday.

Pablo Sandoval’s sacrifice fly scored San Francisco’s lone run. Tyler Rogers (0-1) took the loss.

The sounds of the sport had been amplified with solely cardboard cutouts of followers in areas of the stands.: The crack of the bat on a sharply hit ball. The DJ’s music echoing. Foul balls clunking loudly upon touchdown within the seats. The house plate umpire’s third-strike calls simply heard. Teammates yelled reminders to Dodgers left fielder Joc Pederson about which base to throw to after he snagged a fly ball within the second.

Giants starter Johnny Cueto allowed one run and 5 hits over 4 innings.

PREGAME CEREMONY

The Giants and Dodgers held a black ribbon that wound alongside the baselines in a present of unity after pregame introductions. Anthem singer Keith Williams Jr. stood within the new middle subject seating to carry out as an alternative of the standard spot close to dwelling plate. A number of the Giants kneeled in the course of the efficiency. Reliever Sam Coonrod selected to not be part of his teammates, saying that he discovered about his teammates’ plan simply beforehand. “I meant no ailing will by it. I don’t assume I’m higher than anybody,” Coonrod stated. “I’m a Christian, so I simply consider that I can’t kneel earlier than something moreover God.” In a video, 98-year-old Rachel Robinson, whose husband, Jackie, broke the key league colour barrier in 1947, gave the normal name of “It’s time for Dodger baseball!”

ERRANT BALLOON

A Mylar balloon floated down close to second base within the later innings, seemingly showing out of nowhere. A ball boy got here on the sector and snatched it throughout a quick pause within the motion.

WHAT A CUTOUT

Dodgers scout Mike Brito has his personal cutout behind dwelling plate. The 85-year-old, who found Valenzuela, is carrying his conventional Panama hat, chomping a cigar and holding a radar gun. He’s positioned within the aisle with former “Leisure Tonight” host Mary Hart in her seat subsequent to him.

TRAINING ROOM

Giants: 1B Brandon Belt and 3B Evan Longoria are beginning the season on the injured checklist.

Dodgers: Becoming a member of Kershaw on the IL are C Keibert Ruiz and RHP Scott Alexander.

UP NEXT

The Giants didn’t announce a starter for Friday evening. RHP Ross Stripling goes for the Dodgers, changing David Value within the rotation after Value opted out of the season. He was 2-Three with a 3.60 ERA as a starter final yr.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Related Press contributed to this report.)

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