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Shohei Ohtani Hits Second-Deck Home Run in Dodgers' Road Win
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By Associated Press
Published 1 month ago on
April 24, 2024

Shohei Ohtani hit a 450-foot homer to the second deck in right field in his first visit to Nationals Park, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat Washington 4-1 on Tuesday night. (AP/Ashley Landis)

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WASHINGTON — Shohei Ohtani hit a 450-foot homer to the second deck in right field in his first visit to Nationals Park, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat Washington 4-1 on Tuesday night.

Ohtani’s sixth homer of the season was the hardest-hit of his career at 118.7 mph. It was also the hardest-hit home run for a Dodgers player in the Statcast era, which began in 2015. The solo shot in the ninth inning off Matt Barnes made it 4-1 after pinch-hitter James Outman and Miguel Rojas drove in runs an inning earlier to put Los Angeles ahead.

“There’s only a few guys that can hit a ball like that,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “It was a topspin liner that reached the second deck. There’s not too many guys that can do that. Shohei, we’ve talked about controlling the strike zone. When he does that, it is hard to get him out. It’s lightning in that bat. Any time he swings the bat and makes contact, he can change the game.”

Ohtani, who’s batting a major league-best .364, extended his hitting streak to eight games and has 177 career homers. His previous longball on Sunday gave him the record for homers by a Japanese-born player in Major League Baseball, surpassing Hideki Matsui.

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The Dodgers send RHP Landon Knack (0-1, 3.60 ERA) to the mound against RHP Jake Irvin (1-1, 3.13) in a rematch of last Wednesday’s 2-0 Nationals win at Los Angeles.

Game Highlights

Outman, batting for Kiké Hernández, drilled a splitter from Hunter Harvey (1-1) to right field for a double in the eighth to score Teoscar Hernández from second and break a 1-1 tie. Rojas followed with a run-scoring single.

Dodgers starter James Paxton needed 89 pitches to get through 4 2/3 innings, scattering five hits and allowing one run.

“I thought tonight the command was better,” Roberts said. “I still think we are missing a gear with the swing and miss. At times the fastball was good. But there is more swing and miss in there. I love the compete. I love that he was attacking the strike zone. I would’ve loved for him to go a little bit longer.”

Relievers Michael Grove, Alex Vesia (1-2), Daniel Hudson and Evan Phillips held Washington scoreless the rest of the way. Phillips worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth for his sixth save.

“We don’t put much thought into how deep the starter is going to go,” Phillips said. “The phone rings down there, guy answers, guy gets into the game and tries to do his job. That’s been our mindset. Results are going to be what they are from the starter side, but we are always going to be ready down there.”

Nationals starter Patrick Corbin, who allowed five runs in a 6-2 loss to the Dodgers a week ago, worked 5 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits, three walks and striking out three on 86 pitches.

“We have seen Corbin a lot over the years and I think if his slider is sharp and late then it’s tough to lay off,” Roberts said. “It looks like the fastball and tonight I thought he had it working.”

The Dodgers tied the game in sixth on an RBI single by Hernández.

Freddie Freeman went 2-for-4 with a single and a double. Rojas had two singles.

Trainer’s Room

Dodgers: Roberts said RHP Blake Treinen (bruised lung) will need three to four rehab outings when he is healthy enough to pitch. Treinen’s first rehab game has not been announced. … OF Jason Heyward (lower back tightness) will join the team in Arizona around April 29. He has yet to swing a bat and Roberts expects a rehab assignment of four or five games.

Nationals: RF Lane Thomas injured his left knee in the fifth inning and will undergo an MRI Wednesday. … Placed LHP Robert Garcia (flu) on the 15-day injured list and called up RHP Jacob Barnes from Triple-A Rochester. … C Keibert Ruiz was sent to Double-A Harrisburg on a rehab assignment.

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