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May 12, 2024 1:40 pm

Dodgers DH Shohei Ohtani (back) not in lineup vs. Padres

Shohei Ohtani

Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani was not in Sunday’s lineup against the San Diego Padres, one day after he left in the ninth inning with back tightness.

“His back tightened up,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters. “So it’s one of those things that, I got word before his fourth at-bat that his back tightened up. So being (up) 5-0, we didn’t want to push it.”

Roberts already said late Saturday that he likely would give Ohtani the day off Sunday as a precaution. Will Smith was moved to the DH spot with Austin Barnes getting the starting nod at catcher.

It is just the second time Ohtani was not in the starting lineup for the Dodgers this season. He was rested for a May 1 game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, one day after he struck out three times in a game.

Since that day of rest, Ohtani was batting .429 with four home runs and eight RBIs in eight games and was named National League Player of the Week on Monday.

In his first season with the Dodgers, after he agreed to a 10-year, $700 million free-agent deal, Ohtani entered Sunday’s play with a National League-best .352 batting average in 40 games and a league best 1.090 OPS. His 11 home runs were one off the MLB lead.

A two-time American League MVP and 2018 AL Rookie of the Year during his time with the Los Angeles Angels, Ohtani is a career .279 hitter with a .563 slugging percentage and has 182 home runs with 464 RBIs.

–Field Level Media

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