It was deja vu all over again Wednesday night for the Cincinnati Reds. a same script modus operandi to beat the shell-shocked Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers jumped to an early big lead. The Reds battled back. And they ended it with a two-run walk-off home run by Will Benson for an 8-6 win.
On Tuesday, the Reds fell behind, 8-3, in the fourth inning, crept by run-by-run until Matt McLain hit a walk-off single for an 9-8 win.
On Wednesday, the Reds fell behind, 6-2, in the third, tied it in the fourth and Benson unloaded his first career home run for the walk-off, the Reds 19th come from behind win this season.
Benson was originally batting eighth in the order, but when Jake Fraley was a late scratch, manager David Bell moved Benson into the leadoff spot, his first appearance there and the fifth different player to bat leadoff for the Reds this season.
And Elly De La Cruz. The myth grows, but it is no myth. His first time at bat in the first inning with his team down, 2-0, he nearly left the stadium. He drove a two-run home run into the last row of the right field bleachers, 458 feet that exploded from his bat at 115 miles per hour.
His next time up in third, he drilled one into right center and ran like a gazelle fleeing a cheetah for a triple. He speed was the fastest of any MLB player to sprint for a triple this year.
Benson struggled mightily early this season and was sent back to Class AAA Louisville for some refocusing. Since his return he has been a force.
How has he turned it around?
“I got comfortable; you know what I mean? You have to be comfortable,” he told Bally Sports Ohio on on the field just moment after he triumphantly toured the bases and put the gallon bubble-gum container on his head.
“You have to trust what you’ve got, and I got real surgical in my work pre-game and just trusted that,” he added.
After losing three straight to the Milwaukee Brewers, the Reds have won three straight while the Dodgers have lost four in a row and fallen into second place in the National League West.
Benson was asked is something special is happening with the Reds and he said, “Oh, 100 percent. It’s nothing but everybody going out there wanting to get a ‘W’ every single night.
“When we came off the Milwaukee series, when we took that last one (after losing the first three) we’ve just stayed together, just kept playing hard. We could be the best team in the NL right now.”
On Tuesday, the Dodgers scored three in the first and the Reds scored three in the first. On Wednesday, the Dodgers scored two in the first and the Reds scored two in the first.
Mookie Betts led off the game with a home run off Brandon Williamson. Will Smith doubled and scored on Max Muncy’s single.
Matt McLain singled with one out in the second and stole second. That’s when De La Cruz came a couple of feet away from bouncing one into the Ohio River to tie it, 2-2.
It was a tough night for Williamson. In 5 2/3 innings he gave up six runs and eight hits, three of them home runs.
But Los Angeles starter Noah Syndergaard was no better, even worse. In three innings he gave up six runs and seven hits.
Miguel Vargas hit a homer run leading off the second and Smith cranked a two-run homer in the third and when the inning ended the Dodgers were up, 6-2.
The Reds drew even with a four-run outburst in the third that began with a triple by McClain and a sacrifice fly by Jonathan India. De La Cruz banged his triple and scored on Spencer Steer’s single.
Then the suddenly hot Tyler Stephenson drove a game-tying two-run home run into the right field seats, and it was 6-6.
On Tuesday, after the Dodgers had eight run after four innings, Alex Young, Fernando Cruz, Ian Gibaut and Eduardo Salazar combined to hold them to no runs and one hit over the last 3 1/3 innings.
On Wednesday, after the Dodgers had six runs after three innings, Williamson, Buck Farmer, Lucas Sims and Alexis Diaz combined to hold them to no runs and no hits over the final six innings.
Diaz arrived in the ninth to protect the tie and went 1-2-3 with two strikeouts.
Then Benson did his game-ending thing.
Dodgers at Reds, 12:35 p.m., Bally Sports Ohio, MLB Network, 700, 1410