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A’s hoping to open season in Japan

Kyodo

Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane expressed hope Friday that the A’s will open their 2012 season in Japan.

The A’s are to host a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners from April 6, according to the 2012 regular-season schedule released Wednesday by Major League Baseball.

Beane said he believes the schedule is not official yet and there is still a chance to start in Japan.

The A’s and the Mariners boast Japan’s two biggest stars — Hideki Matsui and Ichiro Suzuki.

According to baseball sources, MLB is in talks with the two clubs on the possibility of playing the opening series in Japan in late March, instead of early April.

The A’s began their 2008 season in Japan against the Boston Red Sox. Daisuke Matsuzaka started in the opening game for the Red Sox.