Home Sports Jason Heyward grateful to return as the Dodgers roll past the visiting Reds

Jason Heyward grateful to return as the Dodgers roll past the visiting Reds

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Jason Heyward of the Dodgers runs the bases off Elly De La Cruz (44) of the Reds after hitting a two-run home run.

48 days had passed since Jason Hayward latest dress for him Dodgers, 48 days since the veteran outfielder felt the adrenaline of a major league game, heard the roar of a huge crowd and felt the rush of a 97 mph fastball heading his way. It was like 48 days of torture.

“I hate missing games, I hate not being there with the guys, I hate not taking trips, I hate watching games on TV,” said Heyward, who was activated Friday after missing nearly seven weeks due to a lower back injury. .

“I missed being part of the vibe. “I did my best to stay sane, to stay in the group texting like crazy as soon as the games were over and we won, but I just wanted to be out there playing again.”

There was no need for text messages on Friday night. Heyward returned to the thick of things for the Dodgers, getting showered with sunflower seeds and high-fiving his teammates after hitting a two-run homer in the eighth inning to put the finishing touches on a 7-game victory. 3 over the Cincinnati. Reds in front of a crowd of 46,832 at Dodger Stadium on Friday night.

Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani is greeted by Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman after hitting a two-run home run.

“I think the way back was hard for him, not being able to participate.” manager dave roberts saying. “He’s a great team guy and cares about his teammates. He was doing what he could to keep morale up, but he was getting very anxious about not playing.”

Heyward was one of three Dodgers to go deep on Friday night, joining Mookie Bettingwho hit his 51st career home run (ranks fifth on baseball’s all-time list) to left field in the first inning, and Shohei Ohtaniwho hit a two-run opposite-field shot to left field, his 13th of the season, for a 3-0 lead in the third.

Ohtani spent part of Friday morning at Los Angeles City Hall, where City Hall presented the two-way star with a resolution declaring May 17 “Shohei Ohtani Day” while Ohtani, who is in the first year of a 10-year, $700 million dealHe plays for the Dodgers.

“He didn’t hit a home run on bobble day (Thursday night), so he had to hit it on some big Ohtani day,” Roberts joked. “We will hit the home run on Shohei Ohtani day. That was a knee-deep ball. Hitting it the other way, turning it very well… it was a great success. We just marvel at what he does.”

James Paxton, who had more walks (22) than strikeouts (15) in 25 ⅔ innings of his first five games this season, made his second consecutive six-inning, zero-walk start to position the Dodgers for victory. The veteran left-hander allowed three earned runs on seven hits and struck out two in his 92-pitch no-decision.

“All players will say they compete, but this guy just strives to be successful,” Roberts said of Paxton. “He got two double plays on ground balls that kept his pitch count down. … Even without the best stuff from him, he digs deep into games and takes care of our bullpen.”

Paxton left after allowing a single to lead off the seventh inning with the score tied 3-3, a deadlock the Dodgers broke with two runs each of the seventh and eighth innings.

Kiké Hernández led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to center field off reliever Fernando Cruz. Betts struck out and Ohtani grounded out to first baseman Jeimer Candelario, who threw to second for the second out.

Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz didn’t have a chance to double up on the speedy Ohtani, but he launched a throw toward first base anyway. Bad decision. The errant throw hit the camera next to the first base dugout, allowing Ohtani to take second.

Read more: Dodgers pitcher Emmet Sheehan undergoes season-ending Tommy John surgery

The Reds opted to intentionally walk Freddie Freeman to pitch to Will Smith, who hit a first-pitch fastball to center field for an RBI single and a 4-3 lead. Freeman moved from first to third on the hit and scored on a wild pitch for a 5-3 lead.

“It’s an open base, so you pick your poison,” Roberts said of Cincinnati’s decision to walk Freeman to face Smith, the cleanup hitter. “But for me, if you’re going to pitch to Will, I’ll take my chance any time.”

Andy Pages hit a one-out single to left field off Reds closer Alex Diaz in the eighth, and Heyward followed with a huge two-run homer just inside the right field foul pole for a 7-1 lead. 3.

“It’s huge to have an at-bat like that, to add something, it takes the pressure off of us,” said Heyward, who is in his 15th major league season. “It was a great at-bat from Andy in front of me, and it was good to keep a clean slider, so I didn’t foul out. It’s just great to be back out there in the game. “I never take that for granted.”

Michael Grove, Blake Treinen and Daniel Hudson each pitched scoreless innings of relief for the Dodgers, who snapped a two-game losing streak.

Read more: Dodgers don’t opt ​​for bullpen play after all, but still fall to Giants and Logan Webb

Paxton allowed Spencer Steer’s RBI groundout in the fourth inning, Stuart Fairchild’s solo home run in the fifth and Tyler Stephenson’s tying solo home run in the sixth.

“I was just trying to attack the strike zone,” said Paxton, who relied almost exclusively on his 93 mph fastball and 81 mph knuckleball curveball. “I didn’t feel like I had my best stuff tonight, but we battled and made shots when we had to and they were putting the ball in play against guys.”

Complicated situation

Roberts said he was “a little irritated” when crew chief Bill Miller, the plate umpire for Thursday night’s game, called in the other three umpires to check the pitching hand of Dodgers pitcher Tyler Glasnow. , looking for sticky substances as the right-hander came off the mound. after the second inning of a 7-2 loss to the Reds.

Glasnow had a dark spot on his thumb and some discoloration on his palm, but referees did not detect any illegal substances.

“The goal of the rule is to avoid sticky substances, so if your hand isn’t sticky, then I don’t see a problem,” Roberts said. “If there’s a problem with just discoloration and it’s not sticky, then there’s going to be a problem (with such extreme controls), because that’s not how it’s supposed to be. “We’re trying to protect ourselves from the sticky stuff.”

Dodgers pitcher Tyler Glasnow throws the ball from the mound against the Cincinnati Reds.

Dodgers pitcher Tyler Glasnow throws the ball off the mound against the Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium on Thursday. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

Glasnow said his hand becomes discolored every time he pitches off the mound, in a bullpen workout or in a game, because he mixes rosin with a baseball that is rubbed with dirt. But he wasn’t as disturbed by the sticky check as Roberts was.

“(Miller) came over and said, ‘Hey, I need the other refs to look at it,’ and I said, ‘Okay, what’s the problem?’ Glasnow said Friday. “He says, ‘He’s just black.’ And I was like, ‘Is it sticky?’ And he says, ‘No, he’s not clingy.’ And then (the other referees) came and checked and said it was fine, it was black.”

Did Glasnow get nervous when Miller called for backup?

“No, because I know he didn’t have anything sticky on his hand,” Glasnow said. “I think if you ever look at or get close to any pitcher who uses rosin on the baseball, your hand will have the ink from the baseball and the dirt from the ball in some way. So he wasn’t necessarily worried. There was no substance. “It was just black.”

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This story originally appeared on Los Angeles Times.

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