Shohei Ohtani had two hits and reached base three times as the Los Angeles Dodgers won their home opener Thursday, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 7-1.

Ohtani went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk, while Freddie Freeman homered and drove in three runs, and Mookie Betts hit a solo home run. The "big three" at the top of the order combined for five hits and scored six runs.

Betts led off the first inning with a walk. Then, after receiving a standing ovation from the crowd of 52,667 at Dodger Stadium, Ohtani doubled to right but was thrown out on the base paths when he did not see Betts had stopped at third base.

Fans watch Shohei Ohtani at-bat in the first inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers' regular-season home opener against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on March 28, 2024. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Freeman followed Ohtani with a single to open the scoring. Two batters later, Max Muncy added a sacrifice fly to make it a 2-0 lead.

In the third, Betts' second home run in as many games and Freeman's two-run homer extended the Dodgers' lead to 5-0.

Later in the game, Ohtani singled to right and struck out.

"It was good to get a hit in my first at-bat," the designated hitter said. "I was excited. So many fans came out to this home opener. I'm grateful for the wonderful support. I was able to put up quality at-bats."

Shohei Ohtani hits a double in the first inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers' regular season home opener against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on March 28, 2024. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Earlier in the week, Ohtani denied betting on sports when he spoke to the media for the first time since his longtime interpreter and close associate Ippei Mizuhara was fired by the Dodgers amid sensational allegations of illegal gambling and theft.

Asked to comment on his days since the season-opening trip to Seoul, Ohtani said, "It wasn't easy to manage my physical condition. I didn't feel right in the previous three (exhibition) games, but I'm glad to have done well in the first regular season game in the United States."

Tyler Glasnow (1-0) held the Cardinals to one run on two hits over six innings. The Cardinals' Miles Mikolas (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits in 4-1/3 innings.

Paul Goldschmidt homered in the fourth and had all three of the Cardinals' hits.

Elsewhere, San Diego Padres pitcher Yu Darvish got a no-decision after striking out seven and allowing a run in five-plus innings in a 6-4 come-from-behind win over the San Francisco Giants.

Fellow Japanese pitcher Yuki Matsui (1-0), who joined the Padres in the offseason, picked up the win after getting five outs in relief.

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