MLB: Shohei Ohtani, Dodgers take aim at Giants’ Keaton Winn

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One day after he had to share the stage with countryman Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the spotlight will shine directly on Shohei Ohtani on Tuesday when the Los Angeles Dodgers go for two straight wins over the host San Francisco Giants.

Yamamoto pitched the first 5 2/3 innings of the Dodgers’ 6-4 win in 10 innings on Monday. He left the game immediately after allowing a go-ahead single to Heliot Ramos in the sixth.

Highly decorated in Japan’s pro league, Yamamoto had become the Giants’ focus of attention in the offseason after they failed to lure Ohtani in free agency, falling short of the Dodgers’ 10-year, $700 million offer.

San Francisco also couldn’t land Yamamoto, who followed Ohtani to Los Angeles with a 12-year, $325 million deal.

The Japanese duo took the field in San Francisco on Monday night for the first time since they turned down the Giants. Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts was grateful to see them wearing blue among a large crowd of mixed colors and rooting interests in the series opener.

“I’m very fortunate, very grateful that they chose the Dodgers, because having those two guys in orange and black would change the landscape,” he assured. “I do think they look better in Dodger blue.”

Ohtani contributed two hits, including an RBI infield single, to Monday’s victory.

He will be seeing Giants scheduled starter Keaton Winn (3-5, 5.63 ERA) on Tuesday for just the second time. The 26-year-old suffered the loss when allowing three runs in five innings in an 8-3 road defeat on April 1, a game in which Ohtani went 1-for-3 against Winn with a double.

The right-hander could be fighting to retain a rotation spot with the pending return of injured Blake Snell. Winn has made two career starts against Los Angeles, going 0-2 with a 7.84 ERA.

The Dodgers are expected to counter with right-hander Gavin Stone (3-1, 3.55). He is unbeaten in his past five starts (3-0), during which he’s allowed a total of just seven runs in 30 innings.

The 25-year-old has started one previous game against the Giants, a 5-1 home loss last September in which he allowed three runs in 4 1/3 innings.

Stone served up home runs to Mike Yastrzemski and Thairo Estrada in last year’s meeting. The veterans were the first two batters in the Giants’ injury-ravaged lineup against Yamamoto on Monday, going a combined 1-for-9 with a double, a walk and four strikeouts.

By the end of the game, the bottom of the lineup consisted of four players 26 or younger and a backup catcher with six games of major-league experience.

Afterward, Giants manager Bob Melvin put part of the blame of the defeat on his young players, especially pinch-runner Tyler Fitzgerald, who was picked off first base after Wilmer Flores had led off the bottom of the ninth in a tie game with a walk.

“We are making some mistakes and that’s going to come with youth sometimes,” Melvin noted. “You want them to be aggressive, but sometimes … You can’t get picked off there. He knows that. Just got a little too big of a lead.”

–Field Level Media

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