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Dodgers' Australia trip highlights '14 schedule

Los Angeles takes on D-backs March 22-23 at Sydney Cricket Grounds

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers' 2014 schedule released Tuesday is highlighted by the previously announced landmark Opening Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks to be played at the Sydney Cricket Grounds, the first regular-season games to be played in Australia.

Major League Baseball has previously opened seasons in Monterrey, Mexico (1999); Tokyo, Japan (2000, '04, '08, '12); and San Juan, Puerto Rico (2001). This will be the Dodgers' first participation in an international regular-season opener. In recent years they have played exhibition games in China and Taiwan.

"The Dodgers are absolutely ecstatic to be opening the 2014 championship season in Sydney, one of the greatest cities in the world," Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said during the original announcement. "Our organization is committed to growing the game of baseball internationally, and I'm eager to kick off our season in one of the most exciting and rapidly developing baseball markets on earth."

The Dodgers will be the road team in the two games, which will be played Saturday night and Sunday, March 22 and 23. The Dodgers will fly back to California after the Sunday game, arriving the same day.

They will be off Monday, work out Tuesday and Wednesday, play Freeway Series exhibition games against the Angels on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, then have an off-day Sunday before resuming the regular season with a three-game series at San Diego starting Monday, March 31.

The Dodgers' home schedule opens April 4 with a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants.

In Interleague Play, the Dodgers will host the Detroit Tigers April 8-9, the Chicago White Sox June 2-4, the Cleveland Indians June 30 to July 2 and the Angels Aug. 4-5.

Interleague Play on the road will take the Dodgers to Minnesota April 29 to May 1, Kansas City June 23-25, Detroit July 8-9 and Anaheim Aug. 6-7.

Beginning on Aug. 26, 23 of the Dodgers' final 29 games will be against National League West opponents, however, the last regular-season road series will be in Chicago against the Cubs Sept. 18-21. The last two series of the regular season will be at Dodger Stadium against the Giants Sept. 22-24 and the Rockies Sept. 26-28.

Aside from the Australian opener, perhaps the most challenging trip for the Dodgers comes at the end of April, when they travel to Minnesota, Miami and Washington.

Holiday games at Dodger Stadium will be on Easter (Sunday, April 20, vs. Arizona), Mother's Day (Sunday, May 11, vs. San Francisco), Memorial Day (Monday, May 26, vs. Cincinnati) and Father's Day (Sunday, June 15, vs. Arizona).

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for
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