Clayton Kershaw, who spent time Tuesday stretching in the outfield bullpen, will start for the Dodgers in Saturday’s season opener. Left-hander Wade Miley replaces Patrick Corbin, who has a left elbow injury, as the Diamondbacks starter.
The teams will close out the two-game series Sunday when the Dodgers‘ Hyun-Jin Ryu is slated to start against Arizona’s Trevor Cahill.
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.
The weekend games will mark the 100th anniversary of an exhibition game played by the Chicago White Sox and the New York Giants at the same stadium.
Capacity crowds of about 40,000 are expected for both games at the historic ground where Australia’s cricket teams have played memorable matches for the past century and a half. In keeping with the theme, Goldschmidt and Gonzalez were presented with cricket bats signed by Australia cricket captain Michael Clarke.
The two first basemen were asked to pose with the bats, and a few in the crowd chuckled when Gonzalez initially slung it over his shoulder in a very un-cricket like pose. But he quickly adopted an impressive Clarke-like stance for the cameras.
Gonzalez also prompted laughter later when he answered a question in Spanish for about 30 seconds. When asked for a translation into English, his response took only several seconds. He smiled and said: “We’re ready to go.”