Opening Day: Fans celebrate as Dodgers launch season with 8 home runs

ELYSIAN PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Thousands of fans partied at Dodger Stadium as the team started the 2019 season in a big way - with an Opening Day-record eight home runs.

The 12-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks set a record for the most homers in an Opening Day game. It also tied a Dodgers record for the most homers in any game.

The game marked the launch of LA's quest for a third consecutive National League pennant.

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Hyun-Jin Ryu started on the mound, marking the end of an eight-season streak with Clayton Kershaw starting on Opening Day.

Ryu pitched six innings, giving up just one run before being relieved by Yimi Garcia.

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Dodgers fans at the Citadel Outlets suited up in blue and formed a human Los Angeles Dodgers logo to celebrate Opening Day on Thursday.

Joc Pederson and Enrique Hernandez each hit two of the Dodgers' eight home runs.

Hernandez, Austin Barnes and Corey Seager all homered in the fourth inning to chase Arizona ace Zack Greinke.

Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger and Hernandez then homered in the seventh for the power-packed Dodgers.

Adam Jones and Christian Walker went deep for the Diamondbacks, but their pitching staff's eight homers allowed also set a franchise record.

But Opening Day was more than just a game for the thousands of Dodger fans at the game.

It was a celebration.

And for superfan Tony Litoff, it was his 47th celebration with the team. Litoff has gone to every Opening Day since the early 1970s.

"One thing leads to another," he said. "It's five years in a row, then it's 10. Then all of a sudden you're thinking about it, it's 15, 20. I can't stop. It's now 47 years in a row."

The dedication has the occasional sacrifice. A friend had good tickets for the NCAA Final Four, but he had to say no.

Even Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts is impressed.

"That's a big number," Roberts said. "A lot of things in life get in the way. To be able to make 47 opening days, that's pretty remarkable."

Litoff was among some 53,000 fans who began pouring in the gates of Dodger Stadium by 10:30 a.m.

"We're having fun and that's what it's all about, you know, having a good time, coming back and hoping we can do it this year," said fan Elsa Villa. "The whole festivities of everything."

Clad in true-blue Dodger gear, Warren Fine said he was excited.

"I can't wait," he said. "I just got out of the hospital. I couldn't wait to get my Dodger tickets. I plan on being here every game."

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The Dodgers are set to open their 2019 season Thursday by hosting the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium, kicking off L.A.'s quest for a third consecutive National League pennant.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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