The Los Angeles Dodgers beat Southern Thunder 4-2 at the Sydney Cricket Ground last night, in a warm-up match for the what will be first Major League Baseball game in Australia on Saturday night.
Heading into what can only be described as a David and Goliath match, the Aussies started out strong with an initial 2-0 lead over the Dodgers.
The score was soon leveled by LA superstar Yasiel Puig at the top of the eighth innings when he slugged a massive two-run homer, drawing the teams 2-2.
Team Australia’s form then fell apart as the Dodgers worked off a series of errors made by the home side and making runs to seal their victory.
Tonight Australia will face the Arizona Diamondbacks ahead of this weekend’s main event, the MLB season-opener between LA and Arizona. That match will be only the 6th MLB event held outside the United States.
Tickets for the opener, which is almost sold out, start from an outrageous $500 per head, but the metre-long hot dogs are said to be worth the entry price.
The NSW Minister for Sport and Recreation Gabrielle Upton says the event will showcase NSW to a worldwide tourism audience, with nearly 170 million households worldwide expected to watch the games on TV.
“Many ‘no vacancy’ signs at hotels, big and small, have gone up across the city with an estimated 10 thousand international and interstate visitor nights expected in Sydney… (delivering) north of $13 million in direct visitor benefit to the NSW economy.
“The MLB is committed to developing the game in Australia and they are taking a long-term view of investing in the grassroots and at the elite level through its ownership of the ABL. In my view, we’ve literally knocked this one ‘out of the park’,” Upton said.
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