Los Angeles, CA – Andre Ethier belted a two-out solo homer in the bottom of the eighth inning Tuesday afternoon and the Los Angeles Dodgers won their home opener, 2-1, over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The opener of the three-game set was also celebrated as the 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium.
Ethier, on his 30th birthday, got ahead in the count 2-0 against right-hander Jason Grilli (0-1) and pulled a 2-1 slider into the seats in right field for the go-ahead run.
"If I had to kiss my twenties goodbye," said Ethier, "it's a nice way to do it."
The Dodgers moved to 4-1 this season and 2-0 in starts by ace lefty Clayton Kershaw.
The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner gave up a run in the seventh inning that tied the game for Pittsburgh, but struck out seven and allowed just four hits and no walks.
In his first start, Kershaw pitched three scoreless innings before leaving with the flu in LA's season-opening win over San Diego last Thursday.
Ethier had two hits and Juan Uribe was 3-for-3 for the Dodgers, who won their fifth straight home opener. Kenley Jansen (1-0) struck out two in a perfect eighth to pick up the win.
Alex Presley had two hits and a run scored for the Pirates, who were coming off two straight wins over the Philadelphia Phillies. Pittsburgh starter Kevin Correia went six innings, giving up one run on four hits and two walks while striking out three.
"You have to earn victories and they earned it today," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "Clayton brought his A-game."
Kershaw had retired 10 straight batters before Presley and Andrew McCutchen led off the seventh inning with back-to-back singles. Both runners moved up on Casey McGehee's fly ball and Presley scored on Matt Hague's ground out to tie the game at 1-1.
Earlier, Dee Gordon singled on the second pitch he saw, stole second base and scored after back-to-back ground outs by Mark Ellis and Matt Kemp to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
Kemp has at least one RBI in nine straight games, tying the franchise record set by Augie Galan in 1944 and matched by Roy Campanella in 1955 -- both with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
McGehee tripled to lead off the second inning when Kemp lost the ball in the sun in center field, but Kershaw stranded him at third with two strikeouts and a fly ball.
McCutchen, the Pirates center fielder, also had trouble with a ball in the second inning, going back on Uribe's fly before hustling forward and dropping it. It put runners on first and second, but the Dodgers didn't score.
Hall of Fame Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully missed the game because of a cold. The team said he was resting at home...Kershaw, who wears No. 22, started the game 50 years to the day that another No. 22, Johnny Podres, took the mound for the first game at Dodger Stadium...Kershaw is 11-0 in his last 14 home starts, one win shy of Ed Roebuck and Orel Hershiser's LA Dodgers record of 12 straight home victories...Kemp was named National League Player of the Week for the first week of the season after winning it in the last week of 2011...The Dodgers have won four straight over the Pirates...Pittsburgh began a nine-game road trip that also includes series at San Francisco and Arizona.