Shohei Ohtani’s first walkoff hit as a Dodger beats Reds in extra innings – Orange County Register

Shohei Ohtani’s first walkoff hit as a Dodger beats Reds in extra innings – Orange County Register
Shohei Ohtani’s first walkoff hit as a Dodger beats Reds in extra innings – Orange County Register

The Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani hits a foul ball during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LOS ANGELES — It was Shohei Ohtani weekend in Los Angeles.

They lined up hours in advance to get their first bobblehead as a Dodger on Thursday. The LA City Council proclaimed May 17 ‘Shohei Ohtani Day’ in Los Angeles. And on Sunday, Ohtani capped it off with his first walkoff hit as a Dodger, driving in the winning run in the 10th inning of a 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Ohtani’s RBI single secured the Dodgers’ 20th win in their past 26 games. It featured more stellar work from a shuffled and reconstituted bullpen. Four relievers — including journeyman left-hander Anthony Banda freshly added to the roster — combined to hold the Reds to one run on two hits over the last 5 1/3 innings.

A month into his big-league career, Andy Pages has experienced a number of firsts – including his first slump. After a fly out in his first at-bat Sunday, Pages had gone 7 for his last 45 (.156) with 18 strikeouts and just one extra-base hit (a double).

But right-hander Hunter Greene gave him the gift of a hanging slider in the fourth inning and Pages hooked it into the seats down the left-field line for a two-run home run that gave the Dodgers the lead.

It held up for a while.

Landon Knack provided a reliable fill-in starter once again, holding the Reds scoreless into the fifth inning. But back-to-back doubles cut the Dodgers’ lead in half.

Ryan Yarbrough came on to face the lefty-heavy top of the Reds’ lineup and kept the lead intact into the seventh inning. Then he became his own worst enemy.

Yarbrough walked Jonathan India to start the inning. Stuart Fairchild dropped a bunt on the grass to the right of the pitcher’s mound, looking to move India into scoring position.

Yarbrough fielded it, spun and threw to first base – where no one was covering. First baseman Freddie Freeman had charged in from first and second baseman Gavin Lux had failed to fill in behind him. The blunder left men on second and third with no outs. Yarbrough got Santiago Espinal to pop out harmlessly then intentionally walked Tyler Stephenson to load the bases.

Alex Vesia was summoned from the bullpen to face the top of the lineup. Vesia and pinch-hitter Spencer Steer battled for nine pitches. Vesia finally missed with a slider outside to walk in the tying run.

After their dynamic four-hit, four-steal game on Thursday, the Dodgers kept Elly De La Cruz off the bases. Rob Manfred put him back on.

De La Cruz was the free runner at second base to start the top of the 10th. But he never made a move to steal third and was still at second while Banda retired the side in order.

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