LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Shohei Ohtani was hitless in two at-bats in his first game as a Dodger at Dodger Stadium in a 5-3 victory over the Angels Sunday to begin the three-game Freeway Series.

Ohtani flew out to left fielder Taylor Ward in the first inning against right-hander Griffin Canning, drew a five-pitch walk from non-roster right-hander Hayden Seig in the four-run second and struck out on a full count foul tip in the fourth against Canning, who returned to the game in the bottom of the third.

May be an image of 3 people and text

Trey Sweeney pinch-hit for Ohtani in the seventh.

This was the second time Ohtani faced the team he spent his first six seasons in the major leagues with before the Dodgers signed him to the largest contract in professional sports history. He was hitless in three at-bats, striking out twice, in a 4-0 loss March 5 in a spring-training game in Glendale, Arizona.

Ohtani is set to talk with reporters Monday for the first time since the Dodgers fired his interpreter Ippei Mizuhara amid allegations that Mizuhara stole millions of dollars from the Japanese slugger to place bets with a purported illegal bookmaker.

“I think it’s good,” manager Dave Roberts said of Ohtani’s forthcoming media availability — which the manager insisted was entirely the two-way star’s decision. “I think it’s the right thing to do. I’m happy he’s going to speak, speak to what he knows and give his thoughts on the whole situation. I think it’ll give us a little bit more clarity.”

The three-game Freeway Series of exhibition games is the first time the Dodgers and Angels are playing in Southern California in 2024. The final two games will be played Monday at Dodger Stadium and Tuesday at Angel Stadium.

The Dodgers will play their regular season home opener Thursday against the St. Louis Cardinals, with right-hander Tyler Glasnow set to make his home debut for the team that acquired him from the Tampa Bay Rays in a four-player trade Dec. 16 and signed him to a five-year contract extension for $136.5 million.

Glasnow was the opening day starter, allowing two hits and two runs in five innings and not figuring in the decision in a game the Dodgers rallied for a 5-2 victory over the San Diego Padres Wednesday in Seoul, South Korea.

The Dodgers were 100-62 in 2023 and won the NL West for the 10th time in 11 seasons. But they lost their first postseason series for a second consecutive season — getting swept in three games by the Arizona Diamondbacks in an NL Division Series.

The Angels will open the regular season Thursday at Baltimore with left-hander Patrick Sandoval making his first opening day start.

The Angels failed to qualify for the postseason for the ninth consecutive season, finishing fourth in the five-team American League West with a 73-89 record, 17 games behind the division-winning Houston Astros and 14 games behind the Minnesota Twins in the race for the American League’s third and final wild-card playoff berth.

Copyright 2024, City News Service, Inc.