Edwin Rios’ clutch home run helps the Dodgers sweep the Astros.
In the wildest game of the young season, the Los Angeles Dodgers got timely hitting and clutch pitching to complete the sweep of their two-game series with the Houston Astros on Wednesday night. The hero of the night: Edwin Rios.
After Mookie Betts came through with his first clutch hit in a Dodgers uniform in the 11th inning, the Astros stormed right back and sent the game into added frames with the score tied at 2-2.
Despite new rules that allow teams to start each extra inning with a runner at second base, the Dodgers and Astros traded timely hits and bullpen magic to extend the game an extra four innings.
Rios, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the 11th, came to the plate in the 13th against Astros reliever Cy Sneed and smacked a two-run home run into the empty right field stands.
The ball traveled 368 feet with an exit velocity of 94.2 MPH according to Statcast data.
Rios said after the game that he was just trying to hit the ball to the right side to move the runner at second base over to third. He noted the 4-2 win carried added significance since it came against Houston.
“Yeah, 1000%,” Rios told reporters via Zoom when asked if it was extra special to beat the Astros. “Obviously with the no fans thing, sometimes it’s a little hard to get motivated. But just playing those guys and everything that went on, obviously there’s a little edge.”
Edwin Rios will play a key role off the Dodgers bench
After a superb summer camp, the left-handed hitting Rios made the Dodgers expanded roster to start the season. However, manager Dave Roberts has been reluctant to use him. Before Wednesday, Rios had one at-bat in the previous five games.
On Sunday night against the Giants, there were several opportunities for Rios to pinch hit for the right-handed Kiké Hernández (if not with Joc Pederson), but Roberts refused.
After Rios two-run bomb on Wednesday, perhaps the Dodgers will use him for late power more often. It should be noted Roberts was suspended for this game due to Joe Kelly’s antics on the previous night. Bob Geren took over managerial duties.