Not a lot of people can say they started at second base on Opening Day for the defending World Series champions behind a future Hall-of-Fame pitcher on the mound.
Kenosha native Gavin Lux can.
Lux made his first career Opening Day start on Thursday in the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers’ 8-5 loss to the Colorado Rockies in Denver, in which future Hall-of-Famer Clayton Kershaw started on the mound for the Dodgers.
And it was a solid Opening Day for Lux, as he finished 2-for-4 with two singles, an RBI and a strikeout while batting sixth and starting at second base.
The Dodgers and Rockies were scheduled to play the second game of their season-opening four-game set on Friday night. That game ended too late to be included in Saturday’s edition of the News.
In Thursday’s opener, Lux grounded into a double play in his first at-bat in the top of the second inning and was called out on strikes in his second at-bat in the top of the third. Both of those appearances came against Rockies starter German Marquez.
Lux came up again in the top of the third with two outs and Cody Bellinger on third base, this time against reliever Chi Chi Gonzalez. Lux ripped a 1-0 pitch into right field to score Bellinger for his first RBI of the season, which tied the game at 2-2.
Lux reached again on a one-out infield single in the top of the seventh off Yency Almonte, but he was erased via double play off the bat of Austin Barnes on the next pitch. Lux then came out of the game in the bottom of the seventh on a double switch when Jimmy Nelson replaced Corey Knebel — both former Milwaukee Brewers — on the mound.
Lux was drafted in the first round of the 2016 draft by the Dodgers out of Indian Trail and rose quickly through the minors. He was named Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year in 2019 and made his major-league debut in September of that season.
Lux entered 2020 as the top prospect in the Dodgers’ loaded farm system, but he struggled in the COVID-19-shortended season, batting .175 (11-for-63) with five extra-base hits, three homers, two doubles and an OPS of .596 in 16 starts. He was on the Dodgers’ roster for only one of their four postseason series, but he did become the first Kenosha native to win a World Series ring when the Dodgers claimed their first title since 1988.
Looking for a bounceback season in 2021, Lux had a strong spring to make the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster for the first time. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has indicated that the left-handed-hitting Lux will be given the chance to be an everyday player on the team’s infield.
The Dodgers play the Brewers in Milwaukee from April 29-May 2 then head to Wrigley Field to play the Chicago Cubs from May 3-5.
Major League Baseball moved the All-Star Game from Atlanta’s Truist Park, a response Friday to Georgia enacting a new law last month restricting voting rights.
MLB had awarded the game to Atlanta on May 29, 2019, and the game was scheduled for July 13 as part of baseball’s midsummer break that includes the Futures Game on July 11 and Home Run Derby the following night.
But Commissioner Rob Manfred made the decision to move the All-Star events and the amateur draft, which had been scheduled to be held in Atlanta for the first time.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.,” Manfred said.