Shohei Ohtani gets winning hit in Dodgers’ walk-off victory

Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Miguel Rojas (11) and catcher Will Smith (16) celebrate Sunday after designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) hits a walk off RBI single during the tenth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

LOS ANGELES — Shohei Ohtani got an impromptu shower near the second-base bag Sunday afternoon, his teammates dousing him with two buckets of water after the slugger lined a two-out, run-scoring single to right field in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the Dodgers to a 3-2 walk-off victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

New Dodgers left-hander Anthony Banda, acquired from Cleveland for cash on Friday, set the stage for the dramatic win when he stranded the automatic runner in the top of the 10th by striking out Mike Ford with an 83-mph cut-fastball, getting Jeimer Candelario to ground out to third and Jake Fraley to ground out to first.


With automatic runner Jason Heyward on second to start the bottom of the 10th, Kiké Hernández popped a bunt attempt to the catcher. Pinch-hitter Will Smith walked, and Mookie Betts flied out to center field, but Ohtani came through with a clutch hit off Reds closer Alex Diaz to send a sold-out crowd of 52,656 in Dodger Stadium home happy.

The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead in the fourth when Freddie Freeman singled and Andy Pages jumped on a first-pitch, 86-mph slider from Reds starter and former Sherman Oaks Notre Dame High star Hunter Greene, sending a 357-foot homer inside the left-field foul pole for his fifth homer.

The Reds halved the lead in the fifth when Stuart Fairchild doubled to left field and scored on Santiago Espinal’s RBI double over the head of left fielder Teoscar Hernández.

Dodgers right-hander Landon Knack, who gave up one run and three hits in 4 innings of a spot start, struck out No. 9 hitter Luke Maile with a 93-mph fastball and was pulled in favor of left-hander Ryan Yarbrough, who got Will Benson to line out to Betts, who made a leaping grab at shortstop to end the inning.

Cincinnati didn’t need a hit to tie the score in the seventh. Jonathan India led off with a walk, and Fairchild pushed a bunt toward first. Yarbrough grabbed the ball, spun and fired a throw to first, but no one was home, Freeman charging from first base and second baseman Gavin Lux too far away to get to the bag.

Yarbrough’s throw sailed into right field for an error that put runners on second and third with no outs. Espinal popped out to first, and pinch-hitter Tyler Stephenson was walked intentionally to load the bases.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts summoned left-hander Alex Vesia to face pinch-hitter Spencer Steer, who drew a nine-pitch walk to force in a run for a 2-2 tie. Vesia prevented further damage by striking out Elly De La Cruz with an 85-mph slider and getting Mike Ford to pop out to third base.

Betts was back in the leadoff spot on Sunday after a scheduled–and what seemed like a timely–day off, his first of the season, Saturday night.

Betts, who was moved from right field to second base over the winter and from second to shortstop–a position he had not played regularly since high school–in early March, beat himself up after committing his sixth error of the season and dropping a potential double-play relay in Friday night’s 7-3 win over the Reds.

“Making errors really, really bothers me,” said Betts, whose fourth-inning throw on a Spencer Steer grounder pulled first baseman Freddie Freeman off the bag Friday night.

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