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Shohei Ohtani hits two homers, collects four hits as Dodgers sweep Braves



Shohei Ohtani hits two homers, collects four hits as Dodgers sweep Braves

LOS ANGELES — When the Dodgers signed Shohei Ohtani this winter, they may simply dream of the monstrous homers and the massive moments he would produce at Dodger Stadium over the course of the subsequent decade. That’s why they believed he was definitely worth the historic $700 million deal.

On Sunday, Ohtani racked up his first multihomer recreation and four-hit recreation since becoming a member of the group in December, and he did it in model. Ohtani’s second homer within the Dodgers’ 5-1 win over the Braves to wrap up a three-game sweep at Dodger Stadium was a no-doubter that traveled a Statcast-projected 464 ft and had an exit velocity of 110.6 mph.

The 464-foot blast was the longest for Ohtani this season and the second longest within the Majors in 2024 behind solely his former teammate Mike Trout, who had a 473-foot blast with the Angels. It was additionally the third-longest homer of Ohtani’s profession, and third longest at Dodger Stadium since Statcast monitoring started in 2015.

“He simply retains doing issues that we haven’t seen earlier than,” stated Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts. “That’s deep. Folks don’t hit the ball on the market [in left-center field]. Whether or not you’re right-handed or left-handed, day recreation, night time recreation. He actually obtained into that one.”

Whereas Ohtani’s second homer was the longest and loudest of the afternoon, his first blast was the one which jumpstarted the Dodgers’ offense towards left-hander Max Fried, who got here into Sunday’s begin on a 15-inning scoreless streak.

Ohtani battled again into the depend till lastly profiting from a dangling curveball from the Atlanta ace. The 2-time unanimous American League Most Helpful Participant launched it into middle subject to present the Dodgers a 2-0 lead that they’d by no means relinquish.

With the 4-for-4 efficiency on Sunday, Ohtani is now 11-for-21 with three homers throughout his present five-game hitting streak. He additionally grew to become the primary Dodgers participant since no less than 1901 to report 25 extra-base hits in his first 35 video games with the group.

“I simply really feel like we’re general taking part in very well,” Ohtani stated by means of interpreter Will Ireton. “In order that’s actually serving to me have high quality at-bats and simply feeling good general.”

Now with Ohtani within the fold, there aren’t many regular-season collection that can maintain important that means for the Dodgers. The fact is, this Dodgers season will in the end be declared successful or failure based mostly on what occurs in October. The membership has made it clear that it’s championship or bust.

However within the build-up to the drama that can undoubtedly unfold in October, there are some collection that may function a litmus check in the course of the common season. The Dodgers handed that with flying colours these previous three video games, outscoring the Braves 20-6 in what was a dominant sweep in all areas.

“Taking part in towards a extremely good workforce, with us having the ability to pitch effectively towards a extremely good offensive workforce,” Ohtani stated, “was actually essential for us.”

Ohtani is correct. Whereas the lengthy homers normally steal the present, it was the Dodgers’ pitching employees that led the best way over the weekend. On Sunday, it was James Paxton’s flip to ship his finest begin as a Dodger, permitting only one run and hanging out three over 6 2/3 innings.

Paxton has had a shaky begin to the season, largely due to his command. He gathered three or extra walks in 4 of his first 5 begins. In opposition to the Braves, it was apparent from the primary pitch that Paxton had a a lot better really feel of his pitches, serving to his general command.

“It felt nice,” Paxton stated. “I lastly discovered some rhythm on the market. We’ve been working laborious right here in between video games making an attempt to determine it out, and it simply feels good to make some progress.”

If the Dodgers can get Paxton again on monitor, they may possess probably the greatest rotations within the Nationwide League. Tyler Glasnow and Yoshinobu Yamamoto are beginning to give the membership all the pieces it wished after they had been acquired this winter. Gavin Stone has been spectacular his previous couple of begins, together with Friday towards Atlanta. Then there’s Walker Buehler, who will return from Tommy John surgical procedure restoration on Monday towards the Marlins to make his first begin since 2022.

In each method, the Dodgers are taking part in just like the workforce most anticipated this winter. Having Ohtani, arguably the sport’s most feared slugger, might additionally show to be the distinction this season.

The Braves discovered the laborious method this weekend.

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