Puig crushes homer to help lift Dodgers


It’s been a bumpy road for the Los Angeles Dodgers since they returned stateside after beginning the season with two wins against Arizona in Australia.

Reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw is expected to miss the bulk of April with a swollen muscle in his left upper back, and now reliever Brian Wilson will be placed on the disabled list with what manager Don Mattingly said is nerve irritation in his right elbow.

The Dodgers did manage to beat the San Diego Padres 3-2 on Tuesday after Kenley Jansen escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning. Yasiel Puig hit a 125-meter drive for a two-run homer and Zack Greinke threw five strong innings to win his season debut.

Mattingly said Wilson had an MRI on Monday that showed nerve irritation. Mattingly said there was no sign of ligament damage. Wilson had reconstructive surgery in April 2012.

“The MRI overall was not good news, but it was better than it could have been,” Mattingly said. “I was pleased and relieved that it wasn’t something bigger than what it is. We feel like it’s something that just needs to calm down and then kind of built going the other direction.”

The Dodgers’ bullpen has had a rough go since returning from Sydney. Wilson allowed three runs in the eighth inning of Sunday night’s 3-1 loss, and Jansen had to dance out of trouble in the ninth on Tuesday.

The Padres loaded the bases with two out on singles by Yonder Alonso and Will Venable, and a walk to Yasmani Grandal. Jansen then struck out pinch hitter Nick Hundley to earn his second save in two chances.

Carl Crawford started the game with a base hit and Puig then drove a 2-1 pitch from Ian Kennedy into the balcony on the third deck of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building in the left-field corner. It was his first homer.

“At the time, when it happens so fast, I don’t know if I caught too much plate,” Kennedy said. “He did a really good job of getting his hands up. He’s a really good hitter. Puig did a good job of hitting what I thought was a good pitch. But he’s one of the best hitters in the National League.”

Marlins 4, Rockies 3

In Miami, Nathan Eovaldi pitched six innings as the Marlins made the most of five hits to beat Colorado for the second night in a row.

The Marlins’ 2-0 start hints at big improvement from last year, when they began 14-41 en route to a 100-loss season. The Rockies are 0-2 after finishing last in the NL West in 2013.

Braves 5, Brewers 2

In Milwaukee, Freddie Freeman hit a pair of solo home runs and Jason Heyward added a two-run shot to back a solid outing by Alex Wood.

Heyward’s first homer of the season off Kyle Lohse (0-1) put Atlanta on top 2-1 in the fifth and snapped a string of 22 scoreless innings against the Brewers.

Diamondbacks 5, Giants 4

In Phoenix, A.J. Pollock broke out of an 0-for-13 start to the season with three hits, scoring twice and driving in a run for Arizona.

Wade Miley (1-1) gave up four runs in the first inning, and then blanked the Giants for the next six, retiring 15 in a row in one stretch.


Astros 6, Yankees 0

In Houston, Jesus Guzman and L.J. Hoes homered off CC Sabathia to help the Astros roll to a win in the first game of Derek Jeter’s farewell tour with New York.

Jeter’s final big league season began by being plunked on the left arm by Scott Feldman. The 13-time All-Star went 1-or-3 with a single.

Blue Jays 4, Rays 2

In St. Petersburg, Florida, Drew Hutchison won his first start in almost two years and Adam Lind homered for visiting Toronto.

Mariners 8, Angels 3

In Anaheim, Brad Miller hit two homers and Erasmo Ramirez pitched seven innings of six-hit ball.

Justin Smoak hit a three-run double, while Abraham Almonte and Dustin Ackley also had RBI doubles for the surprisingly potent Mariners.


Rangers 3, Phillies 2

In Arlington, Texas, Adrian Beltre singled home Choo Shin-soo with the winning run in the ninth inning as the Rangers were able to save a run on a successful replay challenge.

Indians at Athletics — ppd.