LOS ANGELES — They went with a cold open.
A rare night start, atmospheric rivers and whatnot combined to make this the chilliest Opening Day in recent memory. The announced game-time temperature of 54 degrees was the coldest (by eight degrees) for a Dodgers home opener in the past 25 years.
But Will Smith kept the home fires burning, driving in four runs including the Dodgers’ first three of the season before his teammates warmed up and beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 8-2, on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.
Rookie James Outman also hit a two-run home run as the Dodgers won for the 12th time in their past 15 season openers.
The Dodgers spotted the Diamondbacks a 2-0 headstart as Julio Urias gave up three hits and hit a batter in the first six he faced.
Nick Ahmed led off the second inning with a double and should have taken a picture of second base to show his teammates. No other Diamondback got there safely the rest of the night against Urias or three relievers (Phil Bickford, Shelby Miller and Yency Almonte).
Urias retired 13 of 15 after Ahmed’s double. The only baserunners came on an error by shortstop Miguel Rojas in the second inning – a double play followed on the next batter – and a single by Ketel Marte in the sixth. Marte was thrown out by Mookie Betts when he tried to stretch it into a double.
Smith had a double in his first at-bat but didn’t start chipping away at the Diamondbacks’ lead until the third inning. Outman led off with a walk and went to third when Rojas punched a ground-rule double down the right field line.
Betts and Freeman couldn’t advance the runners but Smith drove them both in with a two-out, two-strike single to right field.
In the fifth, Betts walked and Freeman singled to put runners at the corners for Smith. This time, he parachuted a 60.8 mph bloop single into right field, driving in the go-ahead run. J.D. Martinez and David Peralta added RBI singles as the Dodgers drove Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen from the game.
Miguel Vargas led off the sixth with his second walk of the game – a throwback to the early days of spring when Vargas wasn’t allowed to swing the bat in games (due to a hairline fracture in his pinkie) and yet was walked repeatedly.
Outman followed and worked the count full against Diamondbacks reliever Cole Sulser then drove a fastball over the wall in left-center field. Outman homered in his first major-league game at Coors Field last year and added a home run in his first game at Dodger Stadium (his big-league cameo last year was all on the road).
Outman reached base for a third time on a leadoff single in the eighth and scored his third run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Smith.