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De La Cruz Goes 4 for 4 With Career-High 4 Steals in Reds' 7-2 Win Over Dodgers
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By Associated Press
Published 1 month ago on
May 17, 2024

Elly De La Cruz went 4 for 4 with a career-best four stolen bases and scored three times as the Reds beat the Dodgers 7-2 on Thursday night. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)

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LOS ANGELES — Elly De La Cruz went 4 for 4 with a career-best four stolen bases and scored three times in the Cincinnati Reds’ 7-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night.

Nick Martinez (1-2) won in relief, permitting one hit over five shutout innings and striking out four as the Reds used seven pitchers in a bullpen game.

Cincinnati snapped the Dodgers’ franchise record of 22 straight games allowing four runs or fewer. Los Angeles lost back-to-back games for the first time since April 19-20 and has dropped four of seven overall.

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Reds RHP Frankie Montas (2-3, 4.20 ERA) starts Friday night against Dodgers LHP James Paxton (5-0, 2.58), who has a three-game winning streak.

Ohtani’s Bobblehead Night

Shohei Ohtani went 0 for 2 with a walk and a strikeout on his first bobblehead night of the season, when fans snarled traffic and waited in long lines to snag the giveaway depicting the Japanese superstar. Only 40,000 fans got a bobblehead among the sellout crowd of 53,527 — the biggest in the majors this season and at Dodger Stadium since Sept. 20, 2019.

“Just overall a very nice setting to have a lot of fans in the stands,” Ohtani said through a translator. “I’m very appreciative that they all came tonight.”

De La Cruz’s Stellar Performance

De La Cruz matched his career high for hits and reached base five times with three singles, a double and a walk. His four steals were the most by a player against the Dodgers since Philadelphia’s Jayson Werth had that many on May 12, 2009.

“I like playing here. I feel comfortable because this is my city,” De La Cruz said, laughing.

The speedy De La Cruz finally got thrown out by catcher Austin Barnes at second base on a delayed steal attempt that ended the seventh. The 22-year-old shortstop has 30 steals this season. Conner Capel had the Reds’ other stolen base in the game.

“Every time he takes the field, an at-bat, on the basepaths, I feel like we’re witnessing something special,” Martinez said of De La Cruz. “His strength plays in every aspect of the game.”

De La Cruz only said hello to Ohtani, who came away impressed with the youngster.

“He’s a really good player,” Ohtani said. “And very impressive performance.”

Game Highlights

Will Benson hit a leadoff homer against Dodgers starter Tyler Glasnow (6-2). Tyler Stephenson drove in two runs, including a two-out RBI single in the third that made it 3-0.

The Reds tacked on three more in the ninth for a 7-0 lead.

The Dodgers managed just two hits until the ninth, when Andy Pages singled while pinch-hitting for Ohtani. They loaded the bases and scored two runs on Gavin Lux’s bases-loaded single.

Los Angeles went down in order in four straight innings. Three of those came against Martinez, including the sixth when he retired Mookie Betts, Ohtani and Freddie Freeman.

“A lineup like that really forces you to be at the top of your game and have a high-level focus,” Martinez said.

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