HomeSportsDodgers waste big play by Shohei Ohtani in loss to Diamondbacks

Dodgers waste big play by Shohei Ohtani in loss to Diamondbacks

Tuesday night was the Shohei Ohtani show at Dodger Stadium.

Too bad much of the supporting cast didn’t show up.

Despite two hits and some timely baserunning from Ohtani, who continues to lead the majors in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS, the Dodgers never gained traction in a 7-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Instead, they suffered a mediocre outing from starting pitcher Gavin Stone, who gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings.

They got little production from the rest of their lineup, which managed just six hits while struggling with Arizona right-hander Brandon Pfaadt.

And in their only chance to erase an overnight deficit — the Diamondbacks opened the scoring with two runs in the second inning — the Dodgers came up short, leaving a potential tying run stuck in scoring position to end it rallying in the sixth inning.

It all meant that Ohtani’s devastating efforts were for naught, with the slugger’s double in the fourth inning, the RBI single in the sixth inning and two stolen bases (one of which led to an error that allowed him to score) all for nothing came of what had happened. the Dodgers’ fifth loss in 19 games this month.

“We couldn’t get to Pfaadt early,” said manager Dave Roberts, “and we ended up losing the ball game.”

After holding the Dodgers hitless through the first three innings, Ohtani provided the team’s first sign of life in the fourth inning.

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From the frame, he sliced ​​an opposite-field double down the left field line (Ohtani’s 17 doubles this season his second in the majors). Then Ohtani took off for a steal of third and made such a strong jump that he not only reached the bag safely, but also caused an errant throw by Gold Glove catcher Gabriel Moreno. As the ball sailed into left field, Ohtani scrambled to his feet and trotted home safely.

The Dodgers trailed 4-1 in the sixth inning when Ohtani struck again.

After a leadoff double by Miguel Vargas – his first hit since being called up to the big league last week – Ohtani hit a runscoring single through the right side of the infield. Then, after finishing second for his 13th steal of the season (tied for seventh in the Majors), Ohtani scored on Will Smith’s double two plays later, helping spark a rally that won the game almost balanced.

About the only thing Ohtani didn’t do Tuesday was talk to reporters, declining an interview request through a team PR official after the loss.

However, his manager was full of praise after the match.

“Shohei is playing great baseball,” Roberts said. “With the bat, with his legs, it’s really game-changing stuff.”

Still, the Dodgers were unable to complete the comeback, trailing 4-3 after Ohtani’s second run.

Teoscar Hernández flied out to end the sixth. Gavin Lux stranded after hitting a leadoff triple in the seventh. And after Stone was retired late in the sixth inning – Stone’s four runs against was his most since his second start of the year – former Dodger slugger Joc Pederson effectively ended the game with a three-run blast off Michael Grove, who jamming himself with a leadoff walk in the seventh.

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“I thought [Stone] did a good job battling it out, keeping us in the game and getting through six innings,” Roberts said. “I made an attempt with Michael to try to maintain [the deficit] at one. Unfortunately, that leadoff walk came back to haunt us… That puts Joc on the board, and [he] left a slider.

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While Ohtani’s contributions were the biggest of the night, Vargas and Lux’s extra-base hits were positive signs in their efforts to rediscover success at the MLB level.

Lux entered the night with a .194 batting average (14th worst among MLB hitters with at least 130 plate appearances) and looked somewhat lost at the plate. But in the seventh inning, he ambushed a Ryan Thompson first-pitch sinker, then turned on the jets as the ball spun into the right-field corner and reached third base with his second triple and sixth extra-base hit of the season.

Lux also singled in the ninth inning, which was just his sixth multihit game in 33 starts this season.

“Gavin is a dynamic hitter,” Roberts said. “I think if you look at the last 10 games, he’s hitting the ball harder and taking better at-bats. Things are going in the right direction for him.”

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Vargas’ double was equally encouraging.

Vargas, the Dodgers’ Opening Day second baseman last year, had been in the minors since last year’s All-Star break – hitting just .195 at the time of his demotion – before being recalled last Friday due to the injured third baseman Max Muncy.

He went hitless in a start against Cincinnati on Saturday, but recovered in the sixth inning on Tuesday by hitting a fastball on Pfaadt’s first pitch to left for a double.

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The swing looked exactly as manager Dave Roberts had promised before the game, with the skipper saying the 24-year-old prospect looked “a little freer, a little more aggressive” during a strong start to the season at triple-A Oklahoma City. .

“For him, it’s just trying to trust that last year is behind him,” Roberts said. “This is a new year. He has grown and matured. And just let his talent take over.

In Tuesday’s loss, however, few other Dodgers did the same.

Mookie Betts went 0 for 3 with a walk. Freddie Freeman was hitless in four at bats. And aside from Lux and Vargas’ hits, the bottom half of the lineup offered no other production, leaving Ohtani to shoulder too much of the load on an otherwise quiet night at Chavez Ravine.

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This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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