With fans back in full attendance for the first time since 2019, the Los Angeles Dodgers treated their hometown faithful to an exciting victory over the Cincinnati Reds Thursday night.
Dodger faithful in attendance werewhich included representatives from each decade of ball played in Chavez Ravine, an F-35 flyover and the National Anthem sung by Grammy-nominated musician Lupita Infante.
On the heels of the opening ceremony, which also featured a first pitch from longtime Dodgers broadcaster Jaime Jarrin – who is in the midst of his 64th and final season with the Boys in Blue – the Dodgers jumped to an early lead with a three-run first inning that came on the back of a string of RBI hits from Justin Turner, Maxy Muncy and Will Smith.
The game remained fairly quiet until the sixth inning, when the Reds struck back for two on a 403-foot homer from Aristides Aquino, which drove starter Walker Buehler from the game and into the dugout where he promptly threw his mitt against the wall in frustration .
He finished his second start of the season going 5.2 innings allowing five hits and three walks. He struck out four and allowed two earned runs.
The very next inning, with David Price on the mound in relief, Brandon Drury would mash his own solo homer to tie the game at three.
It would not take long for the Dodgers to bounce back though, as they took advantage of a huge bottom of the eighth, scoring six runs – highlighted by a three-run blast from Smith, who finished the game with four runs driven in.
The inning started with an RBI single from Trea Turner, driving in Freddie Freeman who had reached via ground rule double. It was followed up with a walk from Justin Turner and Smith’s homer.
Freeman finished the game with two hits. With the exception of Hanser Alberto, each Dodgers starter had at least one hit Thursday.
Smith’s homer was inches from sailing over the wall, but still ended up as a homer as it rebounded off the back of Reds centerfielder Jake Fraley’s glove – sending the Dodger Faithful into a frenzy.
A pair of singles from Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger would put two men on base before Taylor scored on a wild pitch, and Bellinger scored on a Mookie Betts single, sending them up 9-3 with the victory.
A clean ninth inning from Evan Phillips sealed the deal and sent the thousands of fans enjoying Dodgers Stadium without restrictions home happy.
The teams will face off again on Friday at 7:10 pm, with the Dodgers sending Tony Gonsolin (0-0) to the mound against the Reds Vladimir Gutierez (0-1).