Roberts directs win in managerial debut

First-year skipper happy to see aggressive play pay off

Roberts directs win in managerial debut

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dave Roberts didn't save a lineup card or anything from his Dodgers managerial debut, which was a 6-1 win over the White Sox on Thursday at Camelback Ranch.

"I probably should have taken it in a little bit more, but I realize I have a job to do," said Roberts. "I'm hyper-focused on doing my job. I try to stay in the moment and not get out of the moment."

Kershaw throws 2 scoreless innings in Dodgers' opening win

Roberts' job was made much tougher before the game was played with news that starting pitcher Brett Anderson would miss three to five months after back surgery.

• Anderson to have second back surgery

But Roberts' job on this day was made a little easier by the presence on the mound of ace Clayton Kershaw, who threw two scoreless innings, followed by two perfect innings from reliever Joe Blanton. The offense came up clutch, including RBIs from the Cuban trio of Alex Guerrero (home run), Yasiel Puig and Yasmani Grandal.

"We talk about winning games, but it's about winning the right way," said Roberts. "That's how we played."

Puig's run-scoring single

Roberts said not to read too much into his batting order, which had Howie Kendrick leading off, but did not include Joc Pederson, Adrian Gonzalez and Chase Utley, who are all expected to be in Friday's lineup against the Rangers. He didn't rule out Kendrick leading off in certain matchups, but he indicated it might be a rotation because "we really don't have a prototypical leadoff hitter."

He said the aggressive baserunning on Thursday, including Andre Ethier going from first to third on Puig's RBI single in the first inning, is being emphasized.

"Look at the numbers and how this team ran the bases last year, we can do better," he said. "It's an important emphasis for sure, more a mindset than a style of baseball."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.