By Jon Weisman
Since 1988, the Dodgers are 8-6 when they’ve opened the season on the road, including their farthest trip, which delivered a 3-1 victory over the designated host Arizona Diamondbacks in Sydney on March 22, 2014.
In San Diego, where the Dodgers begin the 2016 season Monday, the Dodgers won season-opening games at San Diego in 2009 (behind Hiroki Kuroda) and 2012, with Josh Lindblom getting the win after illness forced Clayton Kershaw from the game after three innings.
Before that, believe it or not, the only time the Dodgers opened a regular season in San Diego was 1973, when a three-run eighth lifted the Padres over Don Sutton, 4-2.
Sutton got revenge the following year, winning 8-0 at Dodger Stadium over the Padres on Opening Day 1974.
The Dodgers’ most recent loss in a road Opening Day came the last time Kershaw didn’t pitch, when the host Pirates walloped Vicente Padilla and Los Angeles, 11-5 on April 5, 2010.
Technically, the last time the Dodgers swept a road series to open the season was their two-game set in Australia. Stateside, it last happened in that three-game Padres series four years ago. In 1978, Los Angeles matched a 59-year-old franchise record by winning its first four road games — three at Atlanta plus one at Houston — outscoring opponents, 31-12.
Kershaw is pitching his sixth Opening Day and third on the road, following those 2012 and 2014 games. In 9 2/3 innings in road openers, Kershaw has allowed one run on seven hits and two walks while striking out 10.
Hideo Nomo has the only Opening Day road shutout in Los Angeles Dodgers history, an 8-0 victory over Randy Johnson and the Diamondbacks on March 31, 2003 at Arizona. Guy by the name of Dave Roberts scored two runs in that game.