Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin in August of 2017. (Courtesy Keith Allison/Flickr)

Oakland Athletics will officially open 2019 season in Tokyo against Seattle Mariners

Major League Baseball has officially announced that the Oakland Athletics will open the 2019 season against the Seattle Mariners on March 20th in Tokyo.

The A’s will play a two-game set against the Mariners on March 20 and 21, at the Tokyo Dome, which will count as home games for Oakland. It will be the third time the A’s open in Japan, having played the Mariners in 2012 and the Boston Red Sox in 2008.

The series, dubbed the Japan Opening Series, will be the fifth time that Major League Baseball has opened its season in Tokyo, the last time being 2012, when Oakland and Seattle split a pair. It will be the eighth time that Major League Baseball has opened seasons internationally, including Monterrey, Mexico (1999); Tokyo (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012); San Juan, Puerto Rico (2001); and Sydney, Australia (2014).

The Mariners — purchased by Nintendo in 1992 — have close ties to Japan, and recently re-acquired 10-time former All-Star Ichiro Suzuki from the Miami Marlins. Suzuki is a two-time World Baseball Classic champion with Team Japan, and spent eight seasons with the Orix Blue Wave of Nippon Professional Baseball.

In addition to the A’s and Mariners opening the season in Japan, MLB will renew its All-Star Tour with NPB, playing six games across Japan from Nov. 8-15. That tour will mark the 37th time that Major Leaguers have had an exhibition tour of Japan, dating back to 1908. The tour — to be hosted in Tokyo (Tokyo Dome), Hiroshima (Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium) and Nagoya (Nagoya Dome) — will begin with an exhibition game against the Yomiuri Giants in Tokyo on November 8th, followed by three games in Tokyo from November 9th-11th, one game in Hiroshima on November 13th and two games in Nagoya on November 14th-15th.

2018 Japan All-Star Tour
Thursday, Nov. 8: MLB Team vs Yomiuri Giants, Tokyo Dome (Tokyo)
Friday, Nov. 9: Game 1, Tokyo Dome (Tokyo)
Saturday, Nov. 10: Game 2, Tokyo Dome (Tokyo)
Sunday, Nov. 11: Game 3, Tokyo Dome (Tokyo)
Monday, Nov. 12: Travel Day
Tuesday, Nov. 13: Game 4, Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium (Hiroshima)
Wednesday, Nov. 14: Game 5, Nagoya Dome (Nagoya)
Thursday, Nov. 15: Game 6, Nagoya Dome (Nagoya)

2019 Japan Opening Series
Sunday, Mar. 17: MLB Team vs NPB Team*, Tokyo Dome
Sunday, Mar. 17: MLB Team vs. NPB Team*, Tokyo Dome
Monday, Mar. 18: MLB Team vs NPB Team*, Tokyo Dome
Monday, Mar. 18: MLB Team vs. NPB Team*, Tokyo Dome
Wednesday, Mar. 20: Mariners vs. A’s**, Tokyo Dome
Thursday, Mar. 21: Mariners vs. A’s**, Tokyo Dome
*Teams, Home/Road designation, and start times for NPB games will be determined at a later date
**The A’s will be the home team for both MLB Opening Series games. Start times will be determined at a later date.

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