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Shohei Ohtani Hits NL-Leading 24th Homer as Dodgers Edge White Sox
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By Associated Press
Published 4 weeks ago on
June 26, 2024

Shohei Ohtani hit a leadoff homer and a tiebreaking RBI single, helping the Dodgers top the White Sox 4-3 on Tuesday night. (AP/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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CHICAGO — Shohei Ohtani hit a leadoff homer and a tiebreaking RBI single, helping the Los Angeles Dodgers top the Chicago White Sox 4-3 on Tuesday night.

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Right-handers Gavin Stone (8-2, 3.04 ERA) and Erick Fedde (5-2, 3.05 ERA) pitch on Wednesday night in the series finale. Stone is 7-1 with a 2.18 ERA in his last 10 starts for Los Angeles. Fedde is 1-1 with a 2.88 ERA in four June starts for Chicago.

Dodgers’ Winning Ways

Led by Ohtani and Freddie Freeman, the Dodgers won for the seventh time in nine games. The NL West leaders are 50-31 at the midpoint of their schedule.

Ohtani drove a hanging curveball from Chris Flexen into the visitor’s bullpen in right-center for his NL-best 24th homer. White Sox right fielder Tommy Pham tried to make a leaping grab on the play, but was unable to bring it in.

Ohtani also walked and scored on Freeman’s two-run homer in the third inning. He batted again in the fourth and gave Los Angeles a 4-3 lead with a two-out RBI single.

“It wasn’t an easy pitch to hit, but my mindset was getting a base hit,” Ohtani said through an interpreter.

Ohtani’s RBI Streak Continues

Ohtani has driven in at least one run in his last nine games, matching a franchise record. The two-time AL MVP is batting .306 (26 for 85) with 10 homers and 22 RBIs in 22 games this month.

“I don’t know what more we can really say about him,” Freeman said. “I think we’ve said everything we can since he entered this league, about what an amazing player he is. … Sometimes you just got to step back and just appreciate a player like this.”

Andrew Benintendi hit a two-run homer for Chicago, which lost for the sixth time in seven games. Pham walked three times from the leadoff spot, and Gavin Sheets had two hits.

Flexen (2-7) permitted four runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. The right-hander is winless in his last nine starts.

“I thought I battled pretty decent but obviously it didn’t put us in position to win,” he said. “Handful of walks, a couple home runs. Early lead, so pretty disappointed about it. Tough battle.”

White Sox’s Struggles

At 21-60, the White Sox are off to the worst 81-game start in franchise history. The previous record was 27-54 in 1934 and 1948. They dropped to 6-15 in one-run games.

“It’s been tough. It might look a lot uglier than it actually is,” Benintendi said. “We’ve played a lot of one-run ballgames. We’ve put together one, two good weeks. But we’ve got 81 games left, just keep trucking, keep working on things, keep getting better.”

Benintendi hit his sixth homer and Eloy Jiménez added an RBI double as Chicago scored three times in the first against Bobby Miller. But it managed just five hits for the rest of the game.

Miller, a suburban Chicago native, lasted just two innings in his second start since returning from shoulder inflammation. Michael Petersen (2-0) got six outs for the win, and Evan Phillips handled the ninth for his 13th save in 13 chances.

“The shoulder feels great. My body feels great,” Miller said. “I think it’s just sometimes trying a little bit too hard out there, doing a little bit too much.”

Dodgers outfielder Teoscar Hernández rejoined the team after he missed Monday’s 3-0 victory in the series opener to fly home to the Dominican Republic for a personal reason. But manager Dave Roberts gave Hernández another day off.

Trainer’s Room

White Sox: Manager Pedro Grifol said the team is monitoring Benintendi in his comeback from left Achilles tendinitis. “We’ll manage that with maybe some matchups that are good for us as a team and at the same time gives him an opportunity to rest that Achilles and kind of regroup,” Grifol said. … RHP Mike Clevinger (elbow inflammation) pitched 4 2/3 innings in his second rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday, but the team hasn’t confirmed a date for his next outing just yet.

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