LOS ANGELES -- The score one day into the 2013 season: Clayton Kershaw 1, Giants 0.
Kershaw, the Dodgers' ace and Giants nemesis, confounded the defending champions on the mound with a complete-game shutout in the Dodgers' 4-0 Opening Day win on Monday and broke open a scoreless tie in the eighth inning with his first career home run.
Leading off the eighth, Kershaw hit the first pitch from reliever George Kontos -- a 92-ph fastball -- to straightaway center field. Angel Pagan gave chase briefly before turning and watching the ball sail over the fence as the crowd at Dodger Stadium erupted.
It was the second extra-base hit ever for Kershaw, a career .146 hitter in 261 at-bats entering the game. Major League Baseball tweeted that Kershaw is the first pitcher to hit an Opening Day home run since Joe Magrane of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1988 and the first Dodgers pitcher to do so since Don Drysdale in 1965.
The Dodgers tacked on three more runs in the eighth to give Kershaw a cushion. Carl Crawford doubled off Kontos and later scored on a wild pitch by Santiago Casilla. After the Dodgers loaded the bases with no outs, they added runs on RBI groundouts by Andre Ethier and Luis Cruz.
Another loud round of applause greeted Kershaw when he jogged back to the mound for the ninth inning. He allowed a one-out single to Pagan before getting Marco Scutaro to foul out and Pablo Sandoval to ground out softly to third base to end it. Kershaw needed just 94 pitches to complete the game.
While some of the Giants have changed since Kershaw entered the league in 2008, his treatment of them has not. Kershaw began the game with the lowest all-time ERA of any pitcher against the Giants (minimum 50 innings) at 1.37. That number dipped to 1.28 on Monday.
Pagan and Sandoval each singled twice against Kershaw, who walked none. The rest of the Giants' lineup was a combined 0 for 22 with seven strikeouts.
The first six innings were a pitchers' duel between Kershaw and the Giants' Matt Cain. Through six, Cain and Kershaw had combined for 13 strikeouts -- eight by Cain -- and seven balls allowed out of the infield.
Cain needed to work a little harder for his shutout innings. Carl Crawford led off the first with an infield single and Cain hit the next batter, Mark Ellis, with a fastball. But Cain came back to strike out Matt Kemp and, after a walk to Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier on a check swing to end the inning.
Cain threw 29 pitches in the first inning but needed just 44 pitches to get through the next five innings. He struck out the side in the fourth and escaped jams in the fifth and sixth innings. He surrendered back-to-back one-out singles in the fifth and a leadoff double by Ellis in the sixth. After Ellis' hit, Cain retired Kemp, Gonzalez and Ethier in order, striking out the latter two looking.
Ethier, a .456 lifetime hitter against Cain entering the game, was frozen on a full-count pitch that caught the outside corner. It was Cain's last batter. He departed having allowed four hits and a walk and striking out eight.