Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

LOS ANGELES — Welcome to MLB: The (TV) Show.

Delayed by 119 days (as Rob Lowe pointed out in a pregame video welcoming fans to the strangest season in baseball history), Opening Day finally arrived at Dodger Stadium.

  • Enrique Hernandez #14 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates with teammate Mookie Betts #50 after hitting a two run home run against the San Francisco Giants in the eighth inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Enrique Hernandez #14 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a two run home run against the San Francisco Giants in the eighth inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

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  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers safe at home passed the tag by Tyler Heineman #43 of the San Francisco Giants in the seventh inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Enrique Hernandez #14 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates with teammate Justin Turner #10 after hitting a two run home run against the San Francisco Giants in the eighth inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers singles against the San Francisco Giants for his first hit as Dodger in the seventh inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers singles against the San Francisco Giants for his first hit as Dodger in the seventh inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates along with teammate Mookie Betts #50 as Enrique Hernandez (not pictured) hits a two run home run against the San Francisco Giants in the eighth inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers against the San Francisco Giants during a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers tags out #43 of the San Francisco Giants at third base in the fifth inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Alex Dickerson #12 of the San Francisco Giants looks on as Enrique Hernandez (not pictured) of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a two run home run in the eighth inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Enrique Hernandez #14 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates with teammate Justin Turner #10 after hitting a two run home run against the San Francisco Giants in the eighth inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Dave Roberts #30 of the Los Angeles Dodgers high fives Mookie Betts #50 after scoring on a fielders choice ground ball by teammate Justin Turner (not pictured) against the San Francisco Giants in the seventh inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers against the San Francisco Giants in the fifth inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    A camera operator looks on during a MLB baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers, left, along with manager Dave Roberts #30, center, and Bench coach Bob Geren #8 look on against the San Francisco Giants in the fifth inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Dave Roberts #30 of the Los Angeles Dodgers walks toward the mound to remove starting pitcher Dustin May #85 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Dave Roberts #30 of the Los Angeles Dodgers walks toward the mound to remove starting pitcher Dustin May (not pictured) of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Dave Roberts #30 of the Los Angeles Dodgers along with Bench coach Bob Geren #8 look on against the San Francisco Giants in the fifth inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers sit outside and inside prior to a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is tagged out by Brandon Crawford #35 of the San Francisco Giants at second base in the second inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers singles against the San Francisco Giants for his first hit as Dodger in the seventh inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Dustin May #85 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws to the plate against the San Francisco Giants in the second inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers singles against the San Francisco Giants for his first hit as Dodger in the seventh inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Dustin May #85 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws to the plate against the San Francisco Giants in the second inning of a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    A security stands alone prior to a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Los Angeles Dodgers grounds crew takes the Black Lives Matter stencil back toward the dugout prior to a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants kneel during the National Anthem in a show of support for Black Lives Matter prior to a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants kneel during the National Anthem in a show of support for Black Lives Matter prior to a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda cutout prior to a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    San Francisco Giants wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts during batting practice prior to a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    San Francisco Giants wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts during batting practice prior to a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Alyssa Nakken #92 of the San Francisco Giants during batting practice prior to a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Los Angeles Dodgers fans cutouts line the field prior to a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Los Angeles Dodgers fans cutouts line the field prior to a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Los Angeles Dodgers grounds crew waters down the field prior to a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Los Angeles Dodgers takes infield prior to a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Los Angeles Dodgers security watches the front gate at Vin Scully way prior to a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Los Angeles Dodgers fans cutouts line the field prior to a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    A empty stadium prior to a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Los Angeles Dodgers grounds crew waters down the field prior to a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Keith Williams sings the National Anthem prior to a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Los Angeles Dodgers maintenance sanitizes the escalator prior to a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers beat Giants in delayed opener to a unique season

    Los Angeles Dodgers grounds crew waters down the field prior to a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 23, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

Just like the post-Grinch Christmas in Whoville came without ribbons or tags, packages, boxes or bags, this opener came without a lot of the usual frills.

There was no pregame flyover, no red-white-and-blue bunting, no giant flag stretched across the outfield, no beach ball delays, no boos for the visiting San Francisco Giants as they stood awkwardly along the first-base line, their names booming out over the PA system in an empty stadium.

But baseball finally came. It came just the same. If this isn’t the new normal, it is the for-now normal.

“This is a day that, if I’m being completely honest I wasn’t 100% certain we were going to see happen this year,” Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said before the Dodgers went out and beat the Giants 8-1. “The fact that we are here, and the sacrifices and choices and responsibility that players across the league have taken to ensure that we’re getting to this Opening Day is unbelievable.”

Clayton Kershaw didn’t make it to this Opening Day. He was scratched at the last minute and placed on the injured list with back stiffness. Dustin May thought he was headed to the alternate training site after not making the season-opening roster, but instead he got the Opening Day start. The first rookie pitcher to start on Opening Day for the Dodgers since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981, the 22-year-old May allowed one run over 4 1/3 innings.

“He kept his composure,” Kiké Hernandez said. “He wasn’t nervous or intimidated by the amount of cardboards that we had in the stands.”

The ink still wet on his $365 million extension, Mookie Betts might have been more nervous than May. He acknowledged his jitters were “diluted” by the lack of fans in the stands and was happy to have “the monkey off my back” when he got his first hit with his new team in the seventh inning.

“This is a new chapter in life,” said Betts, who saved the ball and the lineup card from the game as souvenirs. “This is the beginning. Looking for a lot more of those.”

Hernandez kept the cardboard fan cutouts on the edge of their seats, going 4 for 5 and driving in five of the Dodgers’ runs.

“First two ABs, first three — it was get jammed and throw a grenade out there. Hopefully they land,” Hernandez said. “Then from there, we started finding the barrel a little bit more. It was a great night.

“I think something that I’ve put a lot of work in is trying to stay consistent with not trying to do too much. And that’s basically the approach that I took tonight and it paid off. Hopefully I can have a few more of these days. … I mean, I have a quick bat, and every time I swing it kind of looks like it’s max effort. So I have to constantly remind myself to slow down.”

Hernandez drove in the Dodgers’ first run in the third inning but the game was tied 1-1 when Betts got that first hit in Dodger blue, sparking a five-run seventh inning — the first of many crooked numbers this Dodgers lineup is likely to put up even in a shortened season.

Cody Bellinger sliced a double to left, sending Betts to third. Betts broke the tie when he beat the throw home on a ground ball to second baseman Donovan Solano even with the infield pulled in.

That lit the fire. The Dodgers sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning. Hernandez drove in two more runs with another single and things went south from there for the Giants.

One Dodgers run scored when the Giants’ overshifted shortstop couldn’t cover second in time to get a force out. Another scored on a four-pitch, bases-loaded walk by reliever Dany Jimenez.

Hernandez capped his big night with a two-run home run in the eighth inning.

“It’s just a tough lineup to navigate,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “To be honest with you, I don’t think that we really had a great night offensively. It just shows the talent that we do have in the room.

“If you let us hang around, we can put up a crooked number with the best of them.”

Four Dodgers relievers followed May and combined to allow just one hit over the final 4 2/3 scoreless innings, putting away the Dodgers’ ninth win in their past 10 season openers.

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