Shohei Ohtani reaches 3 times in home debut as the Dodgers rout Cardinals

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Shohei Ohtani cracked a line drive to right field and sprinted past second base, confident he could leg out a triple that would thrill his new fans in his first home plate appearance for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The $700 million slugger didn't realize Mookie Betts had been stopped in front of him at third until it was too late to avoid getting caught out on the basepaths.

"He can run very fast, but he's got to understand that there's a guy in front of him, too," manager Dave Roberts said with a grin.

There's a guy in back of Ohtani as well when Betts, Ohtani and Freddie Freeman are atop their lineup.

That trio of former MVPs gave Los Angeles an enticing first look Thursday at what these loaded Dodgers hope to do to opponents all summer long.

Ohtani reached three times, Betts and Freeman homered in the third inning, and Los Angeles beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-1 Thursday in the Dodger Stadium opener to a season of sky-high expectations.

Tyler Glasnow pitched six innings of two-hit ball for the Dodgers before a raucous sellout crowd of 52,667 hoping to spend all year watching excellence from a roster built to dominate. One week after Los Angeles began the season with two games in South Korea, the club got back to work by showing off the full breadth of its talent -- starting with those three superstar sluggers, who combined for five hits, six runs and four RBIs.

"The first word that comes to mind is 'daunting,' for me," Roberts said of his trio.

No offseason addition was bigger than Ohtani, who showed no signs of distraction after a tumultuous week in which he emphatically denied betting on sports after the firing of his longtime interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara.

After receiving a standing ovation, Ohtani doubled, walked and singled in his first three plate appearances. Freeman had two hits and drove in three runs, while Betts scored three runs while reaching base three times.

"I was the only guy who couldn't hit a homer, but overall I felt like I had a pretty good game today," Ohtani said through his new interpreter, Will Ireton.

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