Yoshinobu Yamamoto gave up four runs on eight hits over 4-2/3 innings to take a loss in his final spring training start Wednesday as the Los Angeles Dodgers were beaten 8-1 by the Seattle Mariners.

The highest-paid pitcher in MLB history, Yamamoto struck out the side in the first inning and seven in total but yielded two runs each in the fourth and fifth in a 72-pitch outing. His fellow new Dodger and two-way star Shohei Ohtani struck out twice as he went hitless in his three at-bats.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Seattle Mariners during a spring training game in Glendale, Arizona, on March 13, 2024. (Kyodo)

Yamamoto is scheduled to make his MLB debut on March 21 in Game 2 of the two-game, season-opening series against the San Diego Padres in Seoul.

"I threw with next week's game in mind," the 25-year-old said. "I gave up runs on consecutive hits in the fourth and fifth, but also got to throw a good number of pitches."

The right-hander had one pitch-clock violation, wild pitch and walk each, but was upbeat on his preparation for the year.

"I gave up four runs so it wasn't good from a pitching perspective, but I could sense things that were very positive too," he said. "That in-game feeling is growing."

Ohtani was reunited Wednesday with his former Nippon Ham Fighters and Samurai Japan skipper Hideki Kuriyama, meanwhile, for the first time since winning the World Baseball Classic together last March by beating the United States 3-2 in the final in Miami.

"He looks very good in that (Dodgers) jersey," said the 62-year-old Kuriyama, who shook hands with Ohtani with a smile.

Kuriyama added Ohtani can get even better after his recent marriage and had high hopes of the reigning American League MVP's performance at the plate this season as he concentrates on batting following his right elbow surgery in September.

"It's important to have a stable family. I thought he is under a really good environment to play baseball," Kuriyama said, "I believe he will leave astonishing numbers come the end of the season. I'm looking forward to it."

Shohei Ohtani (L) of the Los Angeles Dodgers shakes hand with his former Nippon Ham Fighters and Samurai Japan manager Hideki Kuriyama in Glendale, Arizona, on March 13, 2024. (Kyodo)


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