MLB

MLB: Ohtani's two homers help Dodgers sweep

By Sports Desk May 05, 2024

Shohei Ohtani went 4 for 4 and delivered his first two-homer game as a Los Angeles Dodger to power his new team to a 5-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.

Ohtani's big performance enabled the Dodgers to complete a sweep of this three-game series between National League clubs who each won their division last season.

Two other notable offseason additions also contributed to Los Angeles' fourth straight win. Teoscar Hernandez added a two-run homer, while James Paxton yielded just one run on five hits over 6 2/3 innings to improve to 4-0.

Ohtani staked the Dodgers to an early lead with a two-run homer off Max Fried in the first inning. The 2023 American League MVP later singled in the sixth before Hernandez launched Fried's curveball into the stands in left center field to extend the margin to 4-0.

Paxton kept Atlanta off the scoreboard until the seventh, when Marcell Ozuna connected for his 10th home run of the season to move into a tie with Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson and injured Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout for the major league lead.

Ohtani joined that group an inning later with a titanic 464-foot blast off A.J. Minter in the eighth.

Fried (2-1) struck out seven in seven innings, but was dealt his first loss of 2024 after allowing four runs on just four hits.

 

Red Sox end Twins' streak as bats break out

Sparked by two-run homers from Ceddane Rafaela and Rafael Devers, the Boston Red Sox broke out of an offensive funk to snap the Minnesota Twins' 12-game winning streak with Sunday's 9-2 victory.

Boston also received two-run doubles from Vaughn Grissom and Dominic Smith to halt a three-game skid in which it scored a combined four runs. The Red Sox had gone six consecutive games without a home run until Rafaela connected off Minnesota starter Joe Ryan in the fifth inning to break a 1-1 tie. 

The Twins' 12-game run was tied for the franchise's second-longest winning streak since relocating to Minnesota in 1961, surpassed only by a 15-game stretch in 1991.

Minnesota did own a 1-0 lead following Ryan Jeffers' solo homer off Cooper Criswell in the third inning, but Rob Refsnyder doubled home Jarren Duran in the fourth to pull Boston even.

Rafaela then followed Reese McGuire's single with his fifth homer of the season to give the Red Sox a 3-1 advantage in the fifth. The score remained that way until Boston broke the game open with four runs against the Twins' bullpen in the eighth.

After loading the bases with one out on a Devers single, a Tyler O'Neill double and a walk, Grissom drove in two with an opposite-field double that preceded Smith's two-run double that increased the lead to 7-1.

The Twins got a run back in their half of the eighth when Max Kepler doubled and scored on Trevor Larnach's single, but Devers followed a triple by Duran with his blast off reliever Jay Jackson in the ninth.

Brennan Bernardino received the win after retiring both batters he faced in relief of Criswell, who allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings.

Ryan (1-2) surrendered three runs while striking out five in six innings.

 

Harper's three-run homer helps Phillies stay hot

Bryce Harper's three-run homer in the third inning provided the biggest blow as the scorching Philadelphia Phillies won their fifth straight game by holding on for a 5-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants. 

J.T. Realmuto had three hits and Alec Bohm extended his hitting streak to 18 games to help Philadelphia win for the ninth time in 10 outings. The Phillies, owners of MLB's best record at 24-11, are 16-3 since April 15.

The Phillies also got a strong effort from Taijuan Walker in his second start back from the injured list. The right-hander worked 6 1/3 innings and allowed three runs while striking out seven to move to 2-0.

Walker was touched for a run in the first inning after permitting a single to Lamonte Wade Jr. and a run-scoring double to Michael Conforto. The veteran hurler settled down from there, though, and the Phillies pulled even in the second when Bohm reached second on an error and later crossed the plate on Edmundo Sosa's infield single.

Harper then put Philadelphia ahead in the third when he followed a walk to Kyle Schwarber and a Realmuto single with a drive into the home bullpen off San Francisco starter Logan Webb.

Webb (3-3) struck out six but was removed after throwing 98 pitches in four innings. The Giants' ace was tagged for five runs - four earned - on six hits and two walks.

Walker protected the 5-1 lead until serving up a two-run homer to Thairo Estrada in the seventh. The Giants inched closer on Jakson Reetz's solo homer off Jose Alvarado with one out in the ninth, but the Philadelphia closer retired the next two hitters to record his seventh save of the season.

Reetz's homer was his first in the majors. The catcher had his contract purchased from Triple-A prior to the game.

Bohm kept his hitting streak alive in his final plate appearance when he doubled in the seventh. 

 

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