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Padres' season opener pushed up to Sunday night

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SAN DIEGO -- There was good news Thursday for Padres fans who are anxiously awaiting the start of the regular season:

You won't have to wait quite so long.

ESPN announced Thursday that the Padres and Dodgers will play the first game of the 2014 season on March 30 -- moving the game up one day from the previously announced schedule.

San Diego and Los Angeles will play at 5 p.m. PT at Petco Park as part of ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. Dan Shulman will call the action, with analysts John Kruk and Curt Schilling and reporter Buster Olney also part of the broadcast.

The game will be available across all ESPN platforms, including ESPN, ESPN Radio (called by Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton), ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio and via WatchESPN.

The Padres were originally set to open the season on March 31, with the first of three games against the Dodgers. There's a good chance March 31 will now be an off-day between the first game of the season and the last two games of the series.

ESPN will then broadcast five games the following day, as the remainder of the Major League teams get underway.

While the game on March 30 will be the first of the season for the Padres, the Dodgers officially open the season with a two-game series against the D-backs in Sydney, Australia.

The Padres played their home opener last season at Petco Park against the Dodgers, winning 9-3.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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