Orlando Hudson, "O-Dog", not known for his extra-base hit prowess, beat out a single in the first inning, homered for the first run of the game in the third, doubled in a six-run fourth and capped the performance by becoming the ninth Dodger in the club's storied history to hit for the cycle when he tripled down the right field line in the sixth.
L.A. handed their old nemesis, 45-year-old Randy Johnson, his first loss in Dodger Stadium after putting up a 7-0 mark previously while on his way to a Hall of Fame berth. About the only good thing that happened to him was when he fanned James Loney to end the third inning and recorded strikeout #4,800.
Johnson is nine years older than the oldest Dodger starter, Manny Ramirez; 10 years older than Casey Blake, 14 years older than Rafael Furcal, and Orlando Hudson; 18 years older than Andre Ethier; 19 years older than Russ Martin and he started pitching in the Major Leagues 21 years ago, the same year James Loney, Matt Kemp and Chad Billingsley were born.
All of the above were raised in proper homes and taught to respect their elders but on this day, none of them followed their mother's wishes and treated the elderly gentleman roughly.
Hudson's homer gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the third but San Francisco used a double and a single in the fourth to tie the game. Billingsley allowed just one more hit after that until he left after the seventh.
He became better and better as the afternoon progressed, striking out a total of 11. He fanned the last five Giants he faced, six of the last seven and seven of the last nine.
"I don't think the cycle was the marquee," said Ethier who smacked two home runs and drove in four. "It was Chad, the way he pitched."
"I don't know that he's pitching to prove anything," said Russell Martin, who has been Billingsley's battery mate throughout the minor leagues, "but I definitely wouldn't want to be remembered for a bad outing I had. The playoffs are always magnified. It's only a start or two, and if you don't do good, you live with it. But he's an incredible pitcher and he keeps getting better. That's the scary part."
Ethier broke the tie with his first home run in the fifth. Furcal added a two-run single, Hudson double him home and Martin, up for the second time in the inning, added a two-RBI single.
Hudson tripled in the sixth and scored on Loney's single, then in the eighth, Mark Loretta and Martin singled before Ethier' second home run.
Hudson performance was the first Dodgers cycle since Wes Parker's in New York on May 7, 1970. The triple came in the 10th inning, giving Hudson the honor of becoming the first Dodger to complte the cycle in Dodger Stadium and it was the club's first nine-inning cycle since Gil Hodges in 1949.
"This is special," said Hudson. "This means more than the All-Star Game, more than the Gold Glove."
The win moved the Dodgers to 5-3 on the season and the two clubs have today (Tuesday) off. On Wednesday, the Dodgers celebrate Jackie Robinson day with everyone on the field wearing his special #42 on their jerseys. Young Clayton Kershaw (0-0, 1.80) will face the Giants Matt Cain (1-0, 1.29).
Score by innings San Francisco 000 100 000- 1 Los Angeles 001 601 03x-11 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Furcal ss 5 1 1 2 .226 M'kewicz 1b 0 0 0 0 .000 Hudson 2b 5 3 4 2 .333 Ramirez lf 2 1 1 0 .304 Ohman p 0 0 0 0 .000 Loretta ph-3b 1 1 1 0 .333 Loney 1b 4 0 1 1 .355 Castro ss 0 0 0 0 .000 Martin c 5 1 2 2 .207 Ethier rf 4 2 2 4 .250 Kemp cf 4 1 1 0 .357 Blake 3b 5 1 1 0 .172 Mota p 0 0 0 0 .0001 Billingsley p 2 0 1 0 .500 Pierre ph-lf 1 0 0 0 .333 ----------------------------- Totals 38 11 15 11 Giants 31 1 6 1 Two-base hits- Ramirez (3), Hudson (2). 3b- Hudson (2). HR- Hudson (2). Ethier 2 (2). RBI- Hudson 2 (5), ethier 4 (8), Furcal 2 (3), Martin 2 (5), Loney (5). Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Billingsley (2-0) 7.0 5 1-1 0 11 2.08 Ohman 1.0 1 0-0 0 0 3.00 Mota 1.0 0 0-0 0 0 8.10 T- 3:01. Att- 57,099.Dodger Blue Notes --Before the game the Dodgers purchased the contract of infielder Juan Castro from Triple-A Albuquerque and optioned infielder Blake DeWitt to the Isotopes. ...he Dodgers set an all-time single-game franchise attendance record of 57,099. The mark is tops among all regular AND postseason games at Dodger Stadium. ...The Dodgers scored 11 runs for their highest offensive output in a home opener since 1972, when they beat San Diego 12-2 at Dodger Stadium. ...Matt Kemp has hit safely in each of the Dodgers' first eight games, batting .357 (10-for-28)…he is the only Dodger to have hit in each of the club's first eight contests. ...The Dodgers' concluded a seven-game road trip to open the season by beating the Diamondbacks, 3-1 yesterday. The victory gave Los Angeles a 4-3 record on the trip. Randy Wolf won his first game as a Dodger since June 28, 2007, allowing just one run and one hit over 7.0 innings. ...The Dodgers are playing the San Francisco Giants for the 11th time in the home opener since the two teams moved from New York following the 1957 season, including the lid-lifter in the clubs' inaugural 1958 season in California. The Dodgers have played the Giants in their home opener in Los Angeles more times than any other team. The Dodgers are 27-25 in home openers since their move to Los Angeles, including a 24-24 mark at Dodger Stadium. The Boys in Blue are now 3-5 in their last eight Dodger Stadium openers, and all three of the victories over that span have come against the Giants in 2005 and 2008, respectively.
This Day in Dodgers History
April 13, 1922 - Dazzy Vance debuts as Brooklyn pitcher at age 31 and loses 4-3 to the Giants. He would go on to win 190 games for the Dodgers and win the Most Valuable Player Award in 1924 while recording a 28-6 record. He beat out Rogers Hornsby, who hit .424, for the honor.
April 13, 1926 - Jess Petty, gets the opening day start because Vance has a bad case of boils and shuts out the Giants with one hit, a Texas League double by Frank Frisch, in the Polo Grounds.
April 1954 - Walter (Who?) Alston debuts as the Dodgers manager after Charlie Dressen, who had finished one game behind in 1950 and won pennants in 1952 and 1953, asked for a multi-year contract. Alston would sign 24-consecutive one-year contracts. Andre Baruch, with a young Vin Scully assisting, is the new play-by-play announcer replacing Red Barber.
April 13, 1955 - Carl Erskine beats Pittsburgh in the season opener and the Dodgers go on to win 10 in a row to start the season.
April 13, 1968 - Don Drysdale, at age 31, gets win #191 to pass Vance on the all time games won list, beating the Mets 1-0 with a one-hitter with Ron Fairly homering for the only Los Angeles run.
April 14, 1953 - The Dodgers beat Pittsburgh 8-5 in the opner and go on to win a club record 105 games and the National League pennant.
April 14, 1964 - Sandy Koufax shuts out the Cardinals 4-0 in, inixplicably, his only Opening Day start.