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Apr 24, 2024 7:25 am

Nationals aim to keep Dodgers, Shohei Ohtani in park

Dodgers, Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani had the Los Angeles Dodgers in awe by the end of their Tuesday night game in Washington.

His teammates want to do their part to boost the Dodgers in the second game of a three-game set against the Nationals on Wednesday evening.

In the series opener, Ohtani hit a ninth-inning home run that traveled 450 feet into the upper deck beyond right field. It registered as the hardest-hit ball in the major leagues this year at 118.7 mph. The blast had the highest exit velocity of any ball hit by Ohtani in his major league career, and it had the top speed of any Dodgers home run in the Statcast era (since 2015).

“Can we talk about Shohei’s home run?” said Los Angeles’ James Outman, who provided a go-ahead, pinch-hit double in the eighth inning of the Dodgers’ 4-1 win. “That was absurd. I’ve never seen anything like that.”

Regarding his own contribution, Outman said: “It feels good. We’re trying to do our best and my best to get the job done. It felt good to come through there.”

The Dodgers sealed their second win in a row when the Nationals left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth.

“We couldn’t hit with runners on bases,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “When we have chances to put some runs on the board, we have to capitalize. The story of the day was the offense just couldn’t score any runs.”

Martinez said he wasn’t concerned with mishaps on the basepaths, where the Nationals had two runners picked off.

“We are going to be aggressive,” Martinez said. “That kind of stuff happens.”

Right-hander Jake Irvin (1-1, 3.13 ERA) will head to the mound for the Nationals on Wednesday. He will aim to repeat his performance from last Wednesday, when he blanked the Dodgers across six innings in what became a combined four-hit shutout.

Irvin is set to make just the second home start of the year. He had his roughest outing of the season when he allowed four runs in six innings to the visiting Philadelphia Phillies on April 6.

In three career starts vs. the Dodgers, Irvin is 1-1 with a 2.65 ERA.

Right-hander Landon Knack (0-1, 3.60 ERA), who made his big-league debut last Wednesday against Washington, will start for the Dodgers. He allowed two runs in the first inning, including CJ Abrams’ leadoff homer, and then blanked the Nationals for the next four frames.

“It was slowing things down with myself, take my breath, and after that it made it a lot smoother,” Knack said.

Getting through the first inning without snags would be an improvement for Knack in the rematch.

“I obviously would have liked a little better start (to the game) than that,” he said. “Kind of didn’t set the tone as great as I would have liked to. And hopefully, moving forward, I can set the tone a little better than that.”

The Nationals took outfielder Lane Thomas out of the Tuesday game due to a leg injury, and his status was unclear.

“We don’t know anything,” Martinez said. “He’s pretty stiff, (so) he’ll get an MRI (on Wednesday).”

The Dodgers want to build on Tuesday’s result, which came at the beginning of a nine-game trip.

“(Starting) off the road trip with the win,” Outman said. “It’s good to get the momentum rolling a little bit.”

–Field Level Media

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