The Dodgers will open the domestic portion of their regular season schedule in 2014 on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball against the Padres at Petco Park on Sunday, March 30, it was announced Thursday.
Los Angeles and San Diego were originally scheduled to open on Monday, March 31 but shifted the game to accommodate the nationally televised game. The two teams will be off Monday, and conclude their series on Tuesday, April 1 and Wednesday, April 2.
The Dodgers open their regular season with a pair of game in Sydney, Australia against the Diamondbacks on March 22-23, which means the Dodgers will have already played three regular season games before 27 other MLB teams have even played a game.
In 2013 the Dodgers played four games on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, and lost three of them. They beat the Rays at home on Aug. 11, but lost at home to the Red Sox on Aug. 25 and on the road to the Giants on May 5 and to the Reds on Sept. 8.
Dan Shulman will be on play-by-play for ESPN Sunday Night Baseball along with John Kruk, in their second year together. In 2014 the duo will be joined by Curt Schilling, who replaced new Dodgers broadcaster Orel Hershiser.
With the Australia trip coupled with the U.S. opener moved up a day, ace Clayton Kershaw could be setup to pitch in three different openers in the first six games of the season: March 22 in Australia, March 30 in San Diego, and the home opener on Friday, April 4 against the Giants at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers were 11-8 against the Padres in 2013, including 6-4 in San Diego.