SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — After chasing Yoshinobu Yamamoto from his major league debut after one inning and scoring their most runs ever against the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego’s Xander Bogaerts was sad to leave the Gocheok Sky Dome.

“We got to come here more,” he said.

Jake Cronenworth tied a career high with four hits and had four RBIs as the Padres outlasted the Dodgers 15-11 on Thursday night after Los Angeles fired Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter following allegations of illegal gambling.

Interpreter Ippei Mizuhara was let go from the team Wednesday following reports from the Los Angeles Times and ESPN about alleged ties to an illegal bookmaker.

Ohtani hit three deep flyouts on a 1-for-5 night, including a sacrifice fly, and was 3 for 10 with two RBIs in the series. He did not speak with reporters.

“I hope Sho is good, but you know, at the end of the day we have to make sure we take care of our jobs,” said Mookie Betts, who had six RBIs along with four hits that included the first home run of the major league season. “No matter what cards we’re dealt, we better go play them.”

Yamamoto and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts insisted Mizuhara’s situation didn’t contribute to the defeat.

“I feel regret that I just couldn’t keep the team in the game from the get-go, so I do feel the responsibility for it,” Yamamoto said through a translator. “I just got to get ready for the next outing.”

San Diego gained a split in the opening two-games series, Major League Baseball’s first games in South Korea. After the Dodgers rebounded from a 9-2 deficit and closed to 12-11, Manny Machado hit a three-run homer in the ninth off J.P. Feyereisen.

San Diego outhit the Dodgers 17-16, and Los Angeles made three errors that led to a pair of unearned runs. Luis Campusano had three hits and 20-year-old center fielder Jackson Merrill got his first two major league hits.

Yamamoto (0-1) signed a $325 million, 12-year contract, a record amount for a pitcher that created high expectations. San Diego batted around against the two-time Pacific League MVP, and he left with a 45.00 ERA, allowing five runs, four hits, one walk, a hit batter and a wild pitch. Cronenworth’s two-run triple, Ha-Seong Kim’s sacrifice fly, Campusano’s RBI double and Tyler Wade’s run-scoring single built a 5-1 lead.

“Just didn’t have the command and so it’s not about the stuff,” Roberts said. “When you’re a command guy, which he’s been his entire career, his life, and you just misfire, get behind in counts, hit batters, that’s just not who he is. … He’s an easy guy that you know he’ll bounce back from this.”

Bogaerts hit a two-run single in a four-run third off Michael Grove.

Michael King (1-0) won in his Padres debut following his acquisition in the trade that sent Juan Soto to the New York Yankees. King allowed three runs in 3 1/3 innings.

Robert Suarez got four outs for the save after 26-year-old right-hander Stephen Kolek made his major league debut, getting charged with two runs in the eighth.

Padres starter Joe Musgrove gave up five runs, seven hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings.

Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy allowed Campusano’s first-inning bouncer to get under his glove and down the line for an RBI double, had Fernando Tatis Jr.’s third-inning grounder kick off his glove into left for an error as a run scored, then allowed José Azocar’s seventh-inning grounder to bounce off his glove for a run-scoring error. Muncy hit an inning-ending popup that stranded two runners in the eighth.

In the second season of the pitch clock, the game took 3 hours, 42 minutes, a day after the opener lasted 3:05. Bogaerts struck out for the final out in the eighth when a pitch clock-violation was called by plate umpire Andy Fletcher with a 1-2 count.

Mike Schildt got his first win as Padres manager.

“A lot of courage, a lot of toughness, a lot of fight,” he said. “A really big identity game for our group.”


Bogaerts jammed the ring finger of his left hand while sliding into second base when tagging up in the seventh.


Dodgers: They host the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday and Monday, then play at Anaheim on Tuesday in the annual exhibition Freeway Series. They resume the season March 28 in their home opener against St. Louis.

Padres: They are home against Seattle in exhibitions at Petco Park on Monday and Tuesday, then resume the season hosting San Francisco in a four-game series starting March 28.


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Shohei Ohtani is referred to in Japan as “kanpeki no hito” — the perfect person — because of his manners and impeccable behavior.

That image may have taken a hit when the Dodgers fired his good friend and interpreter Ippei Mizuhara on Wednesday over allegations he gambled illegally and stole Ohtani’s money to pay off debts.

The law firm representing Ohtani called it a “massive theft” in a statement.

The Seoul Series — the first MLB games in South Korea — were supposed to be a showcase for Ohtani before a fertile baseball audience in Asia. The games between San Diego and Los Angeles were scheduled before he signed a $700 million, 10-year deal with the Dodgers in December. For MLB, the stars seemed perfectly aligned and there is already talk of a similar series next year in Tokyo.

A bomb threat Wednesday briefly put a cloud over the series. Police were warned before the first game of a bomb at the stadium but found no explosives. Ohtani was reportedly the target.

Then came the other Ohtani bombshell.

“I was shocked when I read it,” said Jorge Kuri, a hardcore Dodgers fan from Tijuana, Mexico, who runs a garment business there.

Wearing a blue Dodgers sweatshirt and cap at the Gocheok Sky Dome, Kuri said he was trying to sift through the information that’s out there. He said he’d just returned from vacation in Japan “where Ohtani is king.”

“I don’t know what the end is going to be with this because I think it’s just the tip of the iceberg,” he added. “Right now he’s the image of Major League Baseball.”

Mizuhara, 39, was let go from the team following reports from the Los Angeles Times and ESPN about his alleged ties to an illegal bookmaker. He was in the dugout and with the team through Wednesday’s game — the shocking reports dropped Wednesday evening in the U.S., while most fans in Asia were asleep.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed Mizuhara had a meeting with the team Wednesday but declined to elaborate. He said he did not know Mizuhara’s whereabouts and said a different interpreter would be used.

“Anything with that meeting, I can’t comment,” Roberts said, adding that “Shohei’s ready. I know that he’s preparing.”

Ohtani didn’t practice on the field before Thursday’s game. In his absence, his face appeared on the video board promoting a line of Japanese cosmetics.

He seemed unfazed hours later in his first at-bat as he lined a single to right field. In two other at-bats he hit towering drives to right just a few feet short of a home run.

Mizuhara is likely to be investigated by U.S. authorities and MLB, and the whole story is a stunning turn for the man who has been inseparable from Ohtani since the two-way star came to the U.S in 2017. He told ESPN this week that Ohtani knew nothing of his illegal wagers on international soccer, the NBA, the NFL and college football.

As Mizuhara told it, Ohtani was an innocent victim to his close friend’s gambling addiction.

As long as Ohtani isn’t directly accused of illegal betting, the allegations won’t meaningfully hurt his carefully crafted public image, said Lee Seung-yun, a marketing professor at Seoul’s Konkuk University.

“Ohtani’s image is like clean, white porcelain, and that could make a speck look bigger than it is,” he said. “Information spreads at amazing speeds these days, narratives are made before the truth of the facts are figured out, and if Ohtani was seen as a questionable character, the allegations would have really hurt him.”

“But his image is so strong and impeccable, and as long as he wasn’t directly involved, the allegations may just end up a blip,” Lee added.

Lee Jong-Sung, a sports culture expert at Seoul’s Hanyang University, said Ohtani’s image to global fans, including South Koreans, was that of a mysterious monk who “fully devoted himself into a religion called baseball.”

He said the allegations facing Mizuhara so far only may only strengthen that impression of Ohtani — a person who’s driven by perfection in baseball but more naïve and simple-hearted with other things.

“It’s a problem you often see with athletes — putting too much trust and depending excessively on the people they have known for long and are comfortable with and not knowing when they are taken advantage of,” Lee Jong-Sung said.

“It’s not all about you being perfect. Ohtani and the Dodgers should have better judgment in picking the people he works with,” he added.


The Texas Rangers addressed their injury-riddled rotation by reaching a one-year deal with free agent right-hander Michael Lorenzen, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

The deal is reportedly worth $4.5 million, with the potential for another $2.5 million in incentives.

The Rangers are expected to face a good chunk of the season without injured starters Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom and Tyler Mahle. One of the club’s postseason heroes, free agent Jordan Montgomery, is reportedly back in talks with the New York Yankees and is not expected to return to the Rangers.

Lorenzen, 32, split time between the Detroit and Philadelphia last season. His 3.58 ERA in 18 starts for the Tigers earned him his first All-Star nod. In his first home start with the Phillies, he posted his first career no-hitter against the Washington Nationals on Aug. 9.

He finished last season on a downward slide, with an 8.01 ERA and 1.91 WHIP across his final 30 1/3 innings that got him demoted to the bullpen. He made just two appearances in the Phillies’ postseason run.

Lorenzen has a 40-38 career record with a 4.11 ERA in 724 innings over 342 games (69 starts) with the Cincinnati Reds (2015-21), Los Angeles Angels (2022), Tigers and Phillies.


The New York Mets beefed up their batting order by agreeing to a one-year, $12 million deal with designated hitter J.D. Martinez, multiple media outlets reported Thursday.

The contract reportedly will pay Martinez just $4.5 million in 2024, with the rest deferred to be paid $1.5 million annually from 2034-2038. The deferrals will save the Mets significant money in terms of luxury tax.

Martinez, 36, was an All-Star for the third season in a row last year, the sixth selection of his career. In his lone season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Martinez hit .271 with a .321 on-base percentage, a .572 slugging percentage, 33 homers and 103 RBIs over 113 games in 2023.

He lost his spot in Los Angeles when the team signed two-way star Shohei Ohtani, who will be limited to designated hitter duties for most or all of this year while recovering from an arm injury.

Martinez spent the previous five years in Boston, helping the Red Sox win the 2018 World Series, a year in which he led the majors with 130 RBIs.

Martinez previously played for the Houston Astros (2011-13), Detroit Tigers (2014-17) and the Arizona Diamondbacks (2017). In 1,522 career games, he has a .287/.350/.524 batting line with 315 home runs and 1,002 RBIs.

Mark Vientos was the likely candidate to be the Mets’ regular designated hitter before Martinez’s arrival. Vientos, 24, hit .211/.253/.367 with nine homers and 22 RBIs in 65 games last year.

The Mets are coming off a disappointing 75-87 season in 2023, when they had the major leagues’ highest payroll.