Ohtani’s extra-inning heroics lift Dodgers over Reds

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Shohei Ohtani's walk-off single as the Dodgers won the four-game weekend series against the Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium.

LOS ANGELES — Shohei Ohtani had his signature moment with the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon, hitting a walk-off single and sparking a 3-2 victory over the Reds at Dodger Stadium.

Reds right-hander Hunter Greene the Dodgers at bay, allowing two earned runs in 6 1/3 innings. Dodgers right-hander Landon Knack provided another spot start, giving up a run in 4 2/3 innings. 

The Dodgers were held to only seven hits overall, but the bullpen held the Reds scoreless in the last 3 2/3 innings. The victory gave the Dodgers the weekend series, winning three out of four games.

Andy Pages accounted for both Dodgers (32-17) runs through nine innings with his two-run home run in the fourth inning. Their bats were stagnant until Ohtani’s game-winning hit in the 10th.

Here are three takeaways:

Ohtani has signature moment

Ohtani again proved why he is one of the best players in baseball with his 10th-inning single that scored Jayson Heyward.

Ohtani has been a revelation (.353 batting average/.423 slugging percentage/1.081 OPS) and it seems he is being helped by focusing on offense and not worrying about pitching as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

Clayton Kershaw said earlier this season that Ohtani looks better than he did with the Angels. Considering Ohtani’s May numbers last year (.243/.534/.867), Kershaw might have a point.

Knack provides depth

Knack made his fourth start in the MLB on Sunday, but it might have been his best. He gave up three hits and struck out five in his shortest start of the season. His ERA fell to an 2.61, giving him the lowest ERA of any Dodgers pitcher with multiple starts this season.

With the backend of the rotation in flux, Knack has added quality in his spot starts as the the Dodgers try to shore up a weak spot.

Knack has yet to allow more than two runs and fewer than five hits. That said, starts will be fewer once the entire rotation is healthy. 

Banda makes Dodgers debut

The Dodgers have been throwing new acquisitions into the fire and Anthony Banda was no different. The left-handed reliever, who was acquired Friday from the Guardians for cash considerations, mowed down the Reds 1-2-3 in the 10th inning and kept the game tied. 

A performance like this will likely earn more opportunities, no matter the roster. Before this outing, he had 12 appearances at Triple-A Columbus this season with a 2.12 ERA.   

The Dodgers next host Arizona with Monday’s 7:10 p.m. game featuring right-handed starter Yohsinobu Yamamoto (4-1, 3.21 ERA) against Diamondbacks left-hander Joe Mantiplay (2-1, 4.67).