Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres season opener: L.A. picks up a victory in Seoul

Shohei Ohtani smacks an RBI single for the Dodgers.
Designated hitter Shohei Ohtani smacks an RBI single, part of a four-run eighth inning for the Dodgers in Wednesday’s game.
(Ahn Young-joon / Associated Press)

The Dodgers open a highly-anticipated 2024 season by scoring four runs in the eighth inning to rally for a 5-2 win over the Padres in Seoul.

Dodgers use four-run burst in eighth to snag opening-day win

Designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, second from left, congratulates Teoscar Hernández after the Dodgers defeated the Padres.
Designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, second from left, congratulates Teoscar Hernández after the Dodgers defeated the Padres on Wednesday.
(Lee Jin-man / Associated Press)

It lacked the flash and flair that fans had envisioned during a blockbuster, $1.2-billion offseason.

But in the first game of the Dodgers 2024 season, the team trudged its way to an opening-day, come-from-behind win at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, defeating the San Diego Padres 5-2 thanks to a four-run rally in the top of the eighth inning.

After squandering a string of early-game scoring chances, and threatening to spoil the club debuts of Shohei Ohtani (who had two hits, an RBI and a steal) and Tyler Glasnow (who gave up two runs in five innings) in the first South Korean regular season game in MLB history, the Dodgers flipped the script with a rather understated sequence of events.

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Video: Shohei Ohtani and Tyler Glasnow talk about their first games with the Dodgers


Evan Phillips closes things out on 12 pitches in the ninth

⚾ Dodgers 5, Padres 2 — FINAL

Evan Phillips needed only 12 pitches to retire the Padres in order in the ninth inning as he picked up his first save and secured an opening-day victory for the Dodgers in Seoul.

The Dodgers left the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning as Gavin Lux lined out to center to douse the threat.


Dodgers take lead as Jake Cronenworth’s glove lets him down

⚾ Dodgers 5, Padres 2 — End of the eighth inning

The Dodgers came alive on offense and took their first lead of the game in the top of the eighth inning — sparked in part by a broken glove.

The Dodgers loaded the bases to start the inning and Kiké Hernández hit a sacrifice fly to left to plate Max Muncy and tie the score.

Then things got weird.

Gavin Lux hit a grounder to the right of first baseman Jake Cronenworth, which he gloved and appeared ready to start a potential inning-ending double play — except the ball dribbled into short right field as the ball burst through the webbing on Cronenworth’s glove. Teoscar Hernández scored on the play to put the Dodgers up 3-2.

Consecutive singles by Mookie Betts and Shohei Ohtani each produced runs to extend the lead.

And to cap off a strange inning, Freddie Freeman flied out to right and Ohtani was ruled out because he failed to retag second base before returning to first on the flyout.

Joe Kelly came on in relief in the bottom of the eighth inning, and after allowing a leadoff single to Xander Bogarts, Kelly retired Fernando Tatis Jr., Cronenworth and Manny Machado.


Daniel Hudson records scoreless inning as Dodgers continue to trail

⚾ Padres 2, Dodgers 1 — End of the seventh inning

Neither team scored in the seventh as each managed one base runner but not much else.

Daniel Hudson, for his part, worked around a two-out Tyler Wade single to record a scoreless seventh inning on 19 pitches.

Meanwhile, colleague Mark Potts has witnessed Shohei Ohtani’s cheer song at the game:


Ryan Brasier has 11-pitch inning as both teams dip into bullpens

⚾ Padres 2, Dodgers 1 — End of the sixth inning

Ryan Brasier was the first reliever to come in behind starter Tyler Glasnow and recorded a 1-2-3 inning on 11 pitches, striking out Jake Cronenworth and inducing groundouts from Manny Machado (fielded cleanly by Max Muncy) and Ha-Seong Kim (ditto by Gavin Lux).

In the top of the inning, the Dodgers were quiet besides a one-out walk by James Outman. Kiké Hernández pinch-hit for Jason Heyward but struck out on three pitches.

After lifting starter Yu Darvish with two outs in the fourth inning, the Padres are on their third relief pitcher as Yuki Matsui recorded two outs to close out the inning.


Tyler Glasnow completes five innings with his first 1-2-3 frame

⚾ Padres 2, Dodgers 1 — End of the fifth inning

Neither team scored in the fifth as Tyler Glasnow capped his first start with the Dodgers by pitching a 1-2-3 inning.

Glasnow allowed two runs, four walks, two hits and struck out three while throwing 77 pitches.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, stranded two more runners in the top of the inning and have stranded seven for the game so far. They are 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.


Padres retake the lead as Tyler Glasnow gets into a jam

⚾ Padres 2, Dodgers 1 — End of the fourth inning

The Padres loaded the bases and produced a run off Dodgers starter Tyler Glasnow to retake the lead.

The first three batters reached as Manny Machado and Ha-Seong Kim walked while Jurickson Profar bunted his way on. Luis Campusano grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, scoring Machado. Tyler Wade struck out to end the inning.

Glasnow is through four innings on 66 pitches.


Dodgers answer back, Yu Darvish lifted after 72 pitches

⚾ Padres 1, Dodgers 1 — Middle of the fourth inning

Padres starting pitcher Yu Darvish walks to the dugout after being relieved during the fourth inning of Wednesday's game.
(Ahn Young-joon / Associated Press)

After the Padres took the lead in the bottom of the third inning, the Dodgers tied the score thanks to an unearned run.

Teoscar Hernández reached second base to lead off the inning thanks to a throwing error by third baseman Tyler Wade. Hernández moved to third on a groundout to first by James Outman and came home on a sacrifice fly to right by Jason Heyward.

Yu Darvish was lifted after facing Heyward as the Padres went to the bullpen before the end of the fourth inning. Darvish allowed three hits, walked three and struck out three in 3.2 innings of work. He threw 72 pitches.


Padres break through on RBI single by Xander Bogarts

⚾ Padres 1, Dodgers 0 — End of the third inning

The Padres opened the scoring in Wednesday’s game thanks to an RBI single by Xander Bogarts.

Tyler Wade led off the inning with a walk, then moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a flyout by rookie Jackson Merrill, setting up Bogarts’ single.

Tyler Glasnow is through three innings on 48 pitches.


Shohei Ohtani gets his first hit, Dodgers leave bases loaded

⚾ Dodgers 0, Padres 0 — Middle of the third inning

Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani gestures after his third-inning single against the Padres on Wednesday.
(Ahn Young-joon / Associated Press)

Shohei Ohtani recorded his first hit as a Dodger, smacking a 2-2 pitch from Yu Darvish to right field for a two-out single. Ohtani then stole second and after Freddie Freeman and Will Smith drew walks, Max Muncy struck out on a full count.

Darvish is through three scoreless but has thrown 64 pitches, 35 for strikes.


Nothing doing for either team in the second inning

⚾ Dodgers 0, Padres 0 — End of the second inning

The first hit of the 2024 Dodgers season came courtesy of Max Muncy, who led off the top of the second with a single to center. After moving to second on a wild pitch by Yu Darvish, Teoscar Hernández struck out, James Outman flew to right and Jason Heyward popped out to third.

Tyler Glasnow worked around a two-out walk to Jurickson Profar to pitch another scoreless inning. Manny Machado hit the first pitch to shortstop, where Mookie Betts handled his first chance of the regular season at that position seamlessly. Ha-Seong Kim lined out to right, and Luis Campusano also hit the first offering to Betts, who forced Profar at second to end the inning.

Glasnow has thrown 26 pitches through two innings.


Dodgers go quietly in the first inning, Tyler Glasnow sharp

⚾ Padres 0, Dodgers 0 — End of the first inning

Let the record show that Shohei Ohtani grounded into a fielder’s choice in his first at-bat with the Dodgers.

Following a Mookie Betts walk that culminated with a pitch-clock violation by Padres right-hander Yu Darvish, Ohtani grounded a 2-1 pitch to shortstop, forcing Betts at second. Freddie Freeman struck out looking and Will Smith flied out to left, stranding Ohtani at first base.

Tyler Glasnow, making his regular-season debut as the Dodgers’ opening-day starter, retired the Padres in order on 13 pitches.


Starting lineups for Dodgers-Padres opening day

We are moments away from the 2024 season opener, and here are your lineups. Keep in mind the Padres are the home team for Wednesday’s game. The Dodgers will be the home team on Thursday.


The Shohei Ohtani Effect: Dodgers ticket prices are soaring, both home and away

Illustration of Shohei Ohtani in a Japan uniform in front of a backdrop of mountains and cherry blossoms
(Bam Bam Yeh / For The Times)

As Shohei Ohtani and the Dodgers’ band of traveling all-stars prepares to play its opening show next week, the Dodgers are well on their way toward their self-proclaimed goal of painting Japan in Dodger blue.

Of every five tickets StubHub has sold to Dodgers games this year, one has been bought by a fan in Japan, the company said Friday. That goes beyond the tickets sold in packages by Japan’s largest travel agency.

The Dodgers have led the major leagues in attendance for 10 consecutive years, but the signing of Ohtani amid his emergence as a global star has wildly accelerated sales — and prices — of tickets to see the Dodgers this year.

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Shohei Ohtani and Dodgers need to follow the Shaq-Lakers success blueprint

Shohei Ohtani and Shaquille O'Neal
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times; Matt A. Brown / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

A transcendent athlete joins a Los Angeles team at the height of his career.

The city’s sports landscape rumbles with starry-eyed anticipation.

Tickets disappear. Jerseys are everywhere. The entire Southland wants to share in the biggest sporting jewel to choose this city as home.

Shohei Ohtani?

No, Shaquille O’Neal.

When Ohtani journeyed into Chavez Ravine this winter, despite the apparent electric uniqueness of the moment, he was simply following a path forged 27 years earlier by an even bigger star.

Before Shohei there was Shaq.

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How Shohei Ohtani rose to international superstar status one GIF at a time

illustration of a smiling Shohei Ohtani in a Dodgers helmet holding a brown and white dog
(Amy Matsushita-Beal / For The Times)

Shohei Ohtani didn’t share many details about his reunion with Mike Trout this month.

“Normal,” he said in Japanese of their meeting at the Dodgers’ spring-training stadium.

Ohtani said Trout and other Angels players congratulated him on the $700-million contract he signed with the Dodgers. He said he and Trout asked about each other’s families.

And that was about it.

Except there was more, some of which was revealed by a video that was uploaded to the Angels’ Instagram account.

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When nearly 150 Dodger fans took over the Korean DMZ

Known for bringing hundreds of fans to home and away games, the group Pantone 294 brought hundreds of loyal Dodger fans to Seoul, where the Los Angeles Dodgers start their 2024 season against the San Diego Padres on March 20.

Nearly all of the fans do not have tickets to the games. But that doesn’t stop them from traveling, cheering on the team and sightseeing.


Why Dodgers prospect Hyun-Seok Jang could become one of MLB’s next Korean stars

South Korean high school pitcher Jang Hyun-seok poses in his Los Angeles Dodgers jersey.
South Korean high school pitcher Jang Hyun-seok poses in his Los Angeles Dodgers jersey at his introductory press conference at Seoul Dragon City hotel complex in Seoul on Aug. 14, 2023.
(Yonhap News Agency)

SEOUL — During a workout at Dodgers spring training recently this spring, Rob Hill was stopped by a bystander confused by a case of mistaken identity.

The person had seen Hill, the Dodgers director of minor league pitching, talking with a tall, lanky, athletic Asian player on the backfields at Camelback Ranch.

Was that, the bystander asked, two-time MVP Shohei Ohtani?

Visit Shop L.A. Times today to purchase a copy of our 24-page Shohei Ohtani baseball journey special section.

No, Hill politely informed them. The player in question was actually Hyun-Seok Jang.

While Ohtani and fellow Japanese star Yoshinobu Yamamoto have inevitably dominated headlines during Dodgers spring training this year, club officials have quietly raved about the other talented Asian product embarking on his first spring with the team.

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Dodgers Mookie Betts and Alex Vesia break down their trip to Seoul and favorite foods

Dodgers players Mookie Betts and Alex Vesia talk about getting to play in front of a new fan group, what it’s like to be in another country playing baseball, and their favorites foods they’ve had so far.


Here’s how to stream Dodgers games this year, without paying for cable or satellite TV

Dodger Stadium ahead of opening day on March 30, 2023.
(Jack Harris / Los Angeles Times)

You are a Dodgers fan. You would happily pay to stream Dodgers games from SportsNet LA, but you do not want to buy a cable or satellite subscription.

You could not do that last year. You can do that this year — but not without paying the company that operates SportsNet LA for separate services you might not want or need.

With the Dodgers about to open a highly anticipated season — the team is a World Series favorite and could set a franchise attendance record, with excitement stirred largely by the billion-dollar signings of Japanese-born stars Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto — Spectrum announced Tuesday that streaming subscriptions would be available for SportsNet LA this year.

The price: Free.

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Baseball diplomacy: How Shohei Ohtani, Yu Darvish bridge the Japan-South Korea divide

Fans watch as Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani prepares to bat against the Kiwoom Heroes at Gocheok Sky Dome on Sunday.
(Associated Press)

SEOUL — The day after the Dodgers deplaned at Incheon Airport, pictures of Shohei Ohtani and his wife were on the pages of every major newspaper in this country.

Not just any pages. The front pages.

On the evening news, segments on Ohtani were aired before those featuring the San Diego Padres, the Dodgers’ opening-day opponents. The Padres have a couple of Korean players in shortstop Ha-Seong Kim and right-hander Woo-Suk Go.

Visit Shop L.A. Times today to purchase a copy of our 24-page Shohei Ohtani baseball journey special section.

Ohtani is almost as popular here as he is in his home country.

“Right now,” journalist Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News Agency said, “I think he’s the most beloved Japanese athlete in Korea.

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How Shohei Ohtani’s ‘mystique’ is transforming the Dodgers’ future

Illustration in cubist style of Shohei Ohtani wearing a Dodgers uniform holding a bat across his shoulders
(Dave Murray / For The Times)

You got him.

That was the message that Shohei Ohtani’s agent, Nez Balelo, delivered to the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman, right around noon Pacific time on Dec. 9.

Three little words to end one of the biggest free-agent sagas in recent baseball history.

Three magic words likely to shape the next chapter of the Dodgers’ storied history.

For years, the Dodgers had dreamed of signing Ohtani, baseball’s first two-way star in roughly a century. For months this winter, they strategized ways to woo the two-time American League MVP to Chavez Ravine.

It all reached a head in early December, when a wave of online speculation and incorrect media reports — most of them centered on a private jet flight to Toronto — tested the Dodgers’ confidence, turning thoughts of missing out on Ohtani into a seemingly legitimate possibility.

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Max Muncy discusses how he is prepping for the first game

Dodgers player Max Muncy talks to Los Angeles Times reporter Jack Harris about how he handled the long plane ride to Seoul, South Korea, and what he and the team are doing to prepare for the start of the 2024 MLB season.


Shohei Ohtani became ‘a being above the clouds’ in Hokkaido. How the locals can reclaim him

Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani takes the field for a workout at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Saturday.
(Ahn Young-joon / Associated Press)

KITAHIROSHIMA, Japan — Shohei Ohtani is watching over his former team.

Behind the left-field wall at Es Con Field Hokkaido, on the other side of the visiting bullpen, beyond three rows of seats and a concourse, there is a wall painting that measures approximately 22 feet wide and 18 feet high.

Depicted on the left side of the mural is Yu Darvish, the San Diego Padres right-hander who pitched for the Nippon-Ham Fighters for seven years. On the other side is Ohtani, who replaced him as their franchise player.

Pictures are taken here by visitors every day, if not during games, on guided tours of the stadium.

More than six years after leaving the Fighters to pursue his major league ambitions, this is what Ohtani has become.

A painting on a wall.

A myth.

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Shohei Ohtani target of bomb threat that turns out to be not credible

Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani stands in the dugout before a game.
Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani stands in the dugout before a game against Team Korea at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Monday.
(Lee Jin-man / Associated Press)

SEOUL — Authorities in Seoul confirmed that a bomb threat claiming to target the Gocheok Sky Dome for the Dodgers’ season opener Wednesday against the San Diego Padres was not credible, according to a person with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly.

Police identified the perpetrator as an individual with a history of false claims, the person said.

The Dodgers’ game, which marks Shohei Ohtani’s regular-season debut with the club, will proceed as planned, according to a Major League Baseball spokesperson.

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Padres aren’t the only challenge for Dodgers in playing series in South Korea

SEOUL — As Brandon McDaniel, the Dodgers’ vice president of player performance, walked through the team’s spring training clubhouse last week, he laughed when a reporter stopped him to ask about the season-opening trip to South Korea.

How much time had he, like many others in the organization, spent during camp preparing players for the international series?

“It’s kind of been my whole life lately,” he said with a chuckle. “We’re just doing everything we can to put a plan in place.”

The trek began Thursday morning in Phoenix, when players, officials, staffers and family members boarded a chartered Boeing 747 and took off for Seoul. After cruising at 34,000 feet for the next 12 hours 41 minutes, the team arrived at Incheon Airport, just outside of Seoul, on Friday afternoon at 1:22 local time.

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Blake Treinen put on IL as team unveils roster for Padres series in South Korea

Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Blake Treinen (49) watches as a foul ball flies.
Blake Treinen is not on the opening day roster.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

SEOUL—Dodgers reliever Blake Treinen will not pitch in the team’s season-opening two-game series against the San Diego Padres this week, after the team placed him on the injured list Wednesday because of a bruised lung.

Treinen’s status was the only real uncertainty surrounding the Dodgers’ opening-day roster. The pitcher sustained a bruised lung last week after being struck in the side by a line drive during a spring training game. While he avoided any broken ribs and was able to throw a bullpen session before the team’s departure to Seoul last Thursday, he failed to progress enough to take the mound this week.

Outside of Treinen, the Dodgers’ 26-man roster looked as expected.

Because of the unique circumstances of the trans-Pacific trip, which is taking place a week before MLB’s traditional opening day, the Dodgers carried only two starting pitchers for the series: Tyler Glasnow for the opener, and Yoshinobu Yamamoto for Thursday.

Their other three starters — Bobby Miller, Gavin Stone and James Paxton (who remained in the U.S. to keep preparing for the season) — will be added back to the roster when the season resumes next week.

In the bullpen, the Dodgers are missing Brusdar Graterol, who didn’t make the trip because of shoulder inflammation that landed him on the injured list. Graterol had been battling hip tightness this spring, and the Dodgers believe his shoulder injury resulted from overcompensating in his delivery.

Two other pitchers, Walker Buehler and Emmet Sheehan, also were added to the injured list to begin the season.

Buehler still is working his way back from Tommy John surgery and probably will miss the first month. Sheehan also expected. He is battling what the team described as right forearm inflammation, but had resumed throwing activities before the club left for South Korea.

Here’s the full 26-man roster for the two-game set.

Catchers (2): Austin Barnes, Will Smith

Infielders (4): Freddie Freeman, Gavin Lux, Max Muncy, Miguel Rojas

Outfielders (3): Teoscar Hernández, Jason Heyward, James Outman

Infielders/outfielders (3): Mookie Betts, Kiké Hernández, Chris Taylor

Designated Hitter (1): Shohei Ohtani

Pitchers (13): Ryan Brasier, J.P. Feyereisen, Tyler Glasnow, Michael Grove, Daniel Hudson, Kyle Hurt, Joe Kelly, Landon Knack, Evan Phillips, Gus Varland, Alex Vesia, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Ryan Yarbrough


‘It can be galvanizing.’ How Dodgers’ Korea trip could help bond their new-look team

SEOUL — As soon as the question was asked, Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts grabbed at the listening device sitting in front of them, eager to hear how new teammate Shohei Ohtani would answer.

Before the Dodgers’ first full workout in South Korea on Saturday — in preparation for their season-opening international series against the San Diego Padres next week — the team’s three superstars were holding a news conference in a packed media workroom at the Gocheok Sky Dome.

And near the end of the session, one reporter asked Ohtani for details about his new wife, retired Japanese woman’s basketball player Mamiko Tanaka: How they met? If he was excited to have her on the trip with him? And what part of her he liked the most?

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A look at Seoul’s Gocheok Sky Dome’s food from a childish eater

The Dodgers start their 2024 season against the San Diego Padres in Seoul, South Korea on Wednesday morning.

The games will be played at Gocheok Sky Dome where our reporter, Mark Potts, gives a guide to the stadium food he can stomach because he has the palate of an immature 5-year-old.


These Dodgers could be historic, or they could be another October disaster in the making

Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani, left, prepares to take an at-bat against Team Korea on Monday.
(Lee Jin-man / Associated Press)

SEOUL — The day before the Dodgers were set to open their season, New Balance released the signature logo it designed for Shohei Ohtani. The insignia unveiling was a reminder that as focused as Ohtani is said to be on baseball, he is also a one-man commercial enterprise, set to play an oversized role on and off the field for the team this year.

Baseball and business will come together on Wednesday when the Dodgers officially unveil the most anticipated lineup in their history.

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