The first interleague meeting since 2021 between the defending World Series champion Astros and the Dodgers, who led baseball with 111 wins last season, was filled with rancor.
Most of the players from Houston’s 2017 championship team are gone, but that didn’t stop Dodgers fans from expressing their lingering resentment from the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal that season, when Houston beat Los Angeles in a seven-game World Series.
“Fans usually don't forget,” a smiling Busch said.
The Astros’ lineup was introduced to boos, with the loudest derision saved for Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman. The crowd of 49,795 chanted “Cheater! Cheater!” in between heavy booing during their at-bats. Altuve and Bregman were a combined 0 for 6. Bregman walked twice.
Astros manager Dusty Baker said before the game that he hoped the atmosphere “is more subdued.”
“They say time heals all wounds and somebody has got to heal this one,” said Baker, who played on the Dodgers’ 1981 World Series title team.
The boos quickly changed to cheers when Altuve bounced into an inning-ending double play in the eighth.
Dodgers starter Emmet Sheehan (1-0) allowed two runs and three hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked two.
“Big win,” Sheehan said. “We got to beat these guys. Big series.”
Michael Grove pitched two scoreless innings of relief and Brusdar Graterol worked a 1-2-3 ninth to earn the save.
“We've got a reloaded bullpen and they're performing,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Sheehan made his big league debut with six hitless innings last week against San Francisco. The right-hander gave up his first major league hit, an infield single to Chas McCormick in the third, after tossing eight scoreless innings to begin his career.
“I'm just trying to do the same exact things I was doing in the minors,” Sheehan said. “Leading up to the game this time I felt a lot less nervous.”
After giving up game-tying, back-to-back homers to Mauricio Dubón and Kyle Tucker in the fourth, an unruffled Sheehan walked Bregman and then retired the next three batters to end the inning.
Dubón's shot leading off the inning was the first big league homer given up by Sheehan.
Betts drove in the Dodgers' first two runs off J.P. France (2-3). Betts hit a 420-foot shot leading off the first for his 18th homer. His sacrifice fly in the second scored James Outman, who went 3 for 3.
Outman singled, stole second and scored on Busch's RBI double into the left-field corner for a 4-3 lead.
“That was a fun win, a fun game,” Outman said. “The crowd was in it the whole night.”
France gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked two.
Astros: Transferred OF Michael Brantley (shoulder) and RHP José Urquidy (shoulder) to the 60-day injured list.
Dodgers: 3B Max Muncy (hamstring) is still feeling some tightness and won't be activated as hoped. ... Reinstated RHP Phil Bickford (lower back tightness) from the IL after he missed 14 games.
The Dodgers honored the longest running infield in major league history on its 50th anniversary.
First baseman Steve Garvey, shortstop Bill Russell and third baseman Ron Cey took their old spots on the field before the game. Second baseman Davey Lopes didn’t travel from his home in Rhode Island.
Russell faked a throw to Garvey at first before the men gathered in front of the mound. Garvey and Cey had their young grandsons toss first pitches while Russell threw his own with Freddie Freeman, Miguel Rojas and Muncy behind the plate.
For 8 1/2 years, Garvey, Lopes, Cey and Russell were a staple on the lineup card beginning in June 1973, when they first started together. A video was shown highlighting their careers.
Peter O’Malley, the 85-year-old former Dodgers president, made a rare public appearance. During his tenure, the team appeared in five World Series, winning titles in 1981 and ’88.
He was joined by catcher Steve Yaeger, co-MVP of the ’81 World Series, outfielder Rick Monday (now a team broadcaster), Baker and pitcher Fernando Valenzuela. Baker was treated better than his current team, basking in warm applause after sharing hugs with his old buddies. Reggie Jackson, the 77-year-old Hall of Famer, also visited on the field.
The Astros acquired pitcher Spenser Watkins from Baltimore for $100,000. He was optioned to Triple-A Sugar Land.
The Dodgers optioned pitcher Alex Vesia to Triple-A Oklahoma City, two days after the left-hander tossed a scoreless inning with one strikeout against the Angels. Vesia is 0-4 with a 7.58 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 23 games with LA this season.
Astros: RHP Ronel Blanco (1-0, 4.66 ERA) makes the fourth start of his career after beginning the season as a reliever. He gave up five runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings against Cincinnati last week.
Dodgers: RHP Bobby Miller (3-1, 2.83) comes off his first major league loss, having given up seven runs and seven hits against San Francisco.
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