SYDNEY (AP) ― The Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers arrived to a very low-key welcome in Australia on Tuesday for their Major League Baseball season-opening series this weekend after 15-hour flights from the U.S. west coast.
The Diamondbacks arrived first at Sydney airport about 6 a.m. local time Tuesday, followed about four hours later by the Dodgers.
“It’s great to be here,” said Dodgers’ veteran announcer Vin Scully.
There were only a few autograph seekers to meet both teams, unlike recent opening-day series in Tokyo where arriving teams were mobbed by fans. Several airport travelers Tuesday asked the media who the high-profile looking arrivals were.
The players won’t have much time to get over jet lag ― both teams were scheduled to train at the Sydney Cricket Ground later Tuesday. Clayton Kershaw will start for the Dodgers in Saturday’s season opener, with left-hander Wade Miley replacing Patrick Corbin, who has a left elbow injury, as the Diamondbacks starter.
They’ll close out the two-game series Sunday when the Dodgers’ Ryu Hyun-jin is slated to start against Arizona’s Trevor Cahill. The Dodgers will play Team Australia in an exhibition game Thursday, with the Diamondbacks to play Australia on Friday.
The series marks the first regular-season games in Australia. Previous MLB season openers were held in Monterrey, Mexico (1999), San Juan, Puerto Rico (2001) and four times in Tokyo, most recently in 2012.