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Shohei Ohtani walks off on Cincinnati Reds in 10th as Dodgers sent Reds home with loss

LOS ANGELES – The Cincinnati Reds traveled 4,956 miles, spent 10 nights in hotels in three different cities, played 92 innings of road baseball, and all they brought home were three lousy wins, at least two more guys on the injured list and a last-place team.

A long, grueling trip that began by snapping an eight-game losing streak finished in Los Angeles Sunday with a third consecutive loss to the Dodgers, this one 3-2 in 10 innings – their third walkoff loss of a 3-7 trip.

“It sucks. We understand this is unacceptable as far as results and winning,” said veteran reliever Emilio Pagán, who expects to have an MRI on his right triceps Monday after feeling something in the area while pitching in Sunday’s ninth but held out optimism he might be able to avoid the IL.

The Reds have 115 games left in a long season, which can cut either way depending on your perception of a young team that has gone from four games over .500 to nine games under in less than four weeks.

Hunter Greene allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings Sunday to lower his ERA in his last five starts to 2.03 covering 31 innings pitched. For the season, he's 2-2 with a 3.22 ERA in nine starts, but the Reds have lost seven of those starts.
Hunter Greene allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings Sunday to lower his ERA in his last five starts to 2.03 covering 31 innings pitched. For the season, he's 2-2 with a 3.22 ERA in nine starts, but the Reds have lost seven of those starts.

“There’s some guys on this team that have been on teams that are supposed to be good, and you’re like, ‘It’ll come, it’ll come, it’ll come.’ And then it never does,” said Pagán, who has pitched for playoff teams in Tampa Bay, San Diego and Minnesota. “We do need to play with some urgency, for sure.”

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Shohei Ohtani's two-out single in the 10th after the Reds held him to 2-for-14 hitting in the series before that might have been the most fitting, most frustrating ending to a largely nightmarish trip for the Reds.

The series-winning hit sent the Reds reeling to their 18th loss in 23 games and knocked them to nine games under .500 as they headed home for an off day before opening a 10-game homestand.

The last time the Reds were this far under .500 was the last game of 2022, when they lost No. 100 that year.

The Reds are now nine games under .500 at 19-28. The last time they were this far below .500 was the last game of 2022, when they lost No. 100 that year and  Elly De La Cruz was just a prospect in the minors.
The Reds are now nine games under .500 at 19-28. The last time they were this far below .500 was the last game of 2022, when they lost No. 100 that year and Elly De La Cruz was just a prospect in the minors.

They lost Sunday despite another strong start by Hunter Greene, who allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings to lower his ERA to 2.03 over his last five starts. His start was another example of the way the rotation has given the Reds a chance to compete this year while other areas have left them short.

The Reds scored just 34 runs during the 10-game trip.

In fact, they've scored two or fewer 11 times in this 5-18 stretch since their record sat at a high-water mark of four games over .500.

"We're going to get through this," said a quiet Elly De La Cruz, who was stranded at second in the top of the 10th after starting the inning there as the automatic runner for the extra inning.

The fastest player in the game at second base with nobody out. And he didn't so much as advance as Mike Ford, Jeimer Candelario and Jake Fraley went down on a strikeout and pair of grounders.

That might as well sum up the way it's gone for this team for most of a month, and certainly during the long road trip.

"I was looking for an opportunity, but I didn't see it," said De La Cruz, who has more stolen bases (30) than half the teams in baseball.

The Reds dropped to 1-11 in one-run games after leading the NL with 34 one-run wins last year.

Jonathan India and the Reds fell to 1-11 in one-run games this season after leading the NL with 34 one-run wins last year.
Jonathan India and the Reds fell to 1-11 in one-run games this season after leading the NL with 34 one-run wins last year.

“We understand we’ve got to start stringing together some wins,” Pagán said. “It’s not fun coming and losing series after series after series. We’re too good of a team to be doing this.

“We’ve got everything that we need to be successful,” he added. “A lot of these guys are extremely talented. They’re young in the game, sure. You can use whatever excuse you want. We’re not going to use any of those. We believe in everybody in here.”

Pagán pointed to the fact that the Reds have almost all their division games remaining, starting with three against fourth-place St. Louis to close out the upcoming homestand.

“We’ll be able to make up ground,” he said. “We’re not panicking by any means. We know what we’re capable of. And we’ll go on a run. Hopefully soon. But it will come.”

Meanwhile, they got the needed day off after all those miles, games and walkoffs out west.

How else do you measure the longest road trip of the year?

Just count the ways:

  • May 10 in San FranciscoStuart Fairchild hits an inside-the-park home run, and Elly De La Cruz singles twice, steals two bases and scores twice as Reds snap eight-game losing streak, 4-2.

  • May 12 in San FranciscoTJ Friedl breaks thumb when hit by a pitch in sixth game back from a two-month stretch coming back from a broken wrist. The Reds lose in 10 innings.

  • Monday in Arizona – All-Star closer Alexis Diaz blows the save in the ninth when he hits the leadoff man, issues back-to-back one-out walks and gives up former teammate Kevin Newman’s two-run walk-off single.

  • Tuesday in Arizona – Hunter Greene pitches seven impressive innings and gets 13 hits of support in a 6-2 win.

  • Wednesday in Arizona – Reds put starting pitcher Nick Lodolo (3.34 ERA, six starts) on the injured list for the second time this season, this time because of a groin strain. He threw a light bullpen session Sunday. They lose 2-1 despite seven exceptional innings pitched by Andrew Abbott.

  • Thursday in Los Angeles – Reds play their best game of the season, using a bullpen day for the start and getting four hits and four stolen bases from De La Cruz in a 7-2 win.

  • Friday in Los AngelesMookie Betts homers in the first; Shohei Ohtani homers in the third; and the Reds lose 7-3, drop into last place in the NL Central for the first time since May 25 last year.

  • Saturday in Los Angeles – Dodgers ace Walker Buehler pitches six scoreless innings in his third start back from Tommy John surgery as the Reds lose 4-0 to hit a season low-water mark of eight games under .500.

  • Sunday in Los Angeles – Greene pitches into the seventh. Ohtani wins it in the bottom of the 10th with a two-out single to right. Pagan leaves the game in the ninth with a triceps injury he was told by the Dodgers doctor he might have caught in time to avoid the IL. Meanwhile, Spencer Steer, who pinch hit in the seventh and walked, was lifted for a pinch-runner as he continues to nurse a sore ankle. He’s expected to play Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Shohei Ohtani beats Cincinnati Reds with 10th-inning walk-off in L.A.