Walker Buehler returns, Shohei Ohtani homers again in Dodgers’ win over Marlins


Shohei Ohtani launched his fourth home run in three games and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Miami Marlins 6-3 on Monday night in Walker Buehler’s first major-league start in nearly two years.

Ohtani became the first big leaguer to reach 11 homers this season when he crushed an elevated fastball from Roddery Muñoz (1-1) and sent it 441 feet into the center-field netting for a two-run shot in the first inning that tied the score 2-all.

It is the eighth time in Ohtani’s career he has homered in three straight games, and the fourth time he’s hit four in a three-game span.

“All the balls that he’s driving are in his nitro zone. If they don’t throw it there, he takes his base. And if they do, he’s ready to fire,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “So, he’s getting hits, he’s driving in runs, and now he’s slugging. It’s a result of controlling the strike zone.”

Two pitches after Ohtani’s homer, Freddie Freeman followed with a solo shot to left-center, the first time the Dodgers had gone back-to-back this season.

“I’m just glad we got the lead back. You want to be able to do that as an offense, fight back and let Walker breathe a little bit in his first start back,” Freeman said.

James Outman and Teoscar Hernández also went deep as the Dodgers won their fourth straight.

Nick Gordon homered as the Marlins lost for the third time in four games on their West Coast trip.

Buehler went four innings, allowing three runs and six hits with four strikeouts. He threw 77 pitches, 49 for strikes.

It was his first start in the majors since June 10, 2022. The two-time All-Star had his second Tommy John surgery in August that year. He was 0-2 with a 4.15 ERA in six minor league starts this season, mostly at Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Roberts said before the game the right-hander’s pitch count would be anywhere from 80 to 85.

“I was kind of tiring myself out the first couple innings before I settled in there,” Buehler said. “I wish it would have gone better and thrown five or six shutout innings, but it’s done and I’m glad to be back.”

Ryan Yarbrough (3-1) followed Buehler with three innings of one-hit ball, and Alex Vesia worked the ninth for his first save.

Buehler showed some early nerves as the first two batters reached base and the Marlins scored twice in the first on RBI singles by Bryan De La Cruz and Jesús Sánchez. Nick Gordon’s leadoff homer in the second tied it 3-all before Buehler settled down.

Gavin Lux led off the second with a walk before Outman homered to right-center to put the Dodgers up 5-3.

Hernández’s solo shot in the third marked the second time in three games the Dodgers hit at least four homers.

Muñoz went 4⅔ innings in his third career start and allowed six runs on seven hits with four walks and five strikeouts.

“I’m guessing maybe the nerves took over a little bit,” Marlins manager Skip Schumacher said. “It’s a team that’s going to hit. They walk and they slug, that’s what they do. If you get behind them and give them free passes, they are going to make you pay.”

Marlins infielder Jake Burger was activated after missing 20 games due to a left intercostal muscle strain and went 0-for-4. INF Jonah Bride was optioned to Triple-A Jacksonville.

Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly was placed on the injured list with a right posterior shoulder strain. Outfielder Jason Heyward (lower back tightness) took batting practice, but it will not be decided until at least Thursday when he might start a rehab stint.

Miami RHP Edward Cabrera (1-1, 6.05 ERA) faces RHP Yoshinobu Yamamoto (3-1, 2.91) in the middle game of the series on Tuesday.

Reporting by The Associated Press.


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