Nobody really wanted him. The Dodgers had seemingly given up on Scott Van Slyke in the 2012 off-season, designating him for assignment. Every other team in baseball took a pass. Every team.
So after he cleared waivers the Dodgers brought him back and assigned him to triple-A. Things had looked better for their one-time Minor League Player of the Year. And even when he lost weight and played himself back into favor, the Dodgers already had four star outfielders ahead of him.
But Van Slyke is making it hard for the Dodgers to forget about him again, and never more so than Monday in Cincinnati, when he hit a pair of homers and drove in four runs in the Dodgers’ 6-2 victory over the Reds at Great American Ball Park.
They put the game on national television so the baseball world could watch all the Dodgers’ high-priced stars, and the kid everyone took a pass on grabbed center stage.
Van Slyke started the scoring in the second with a 448-foot solo home run into the upper deck off Cincinnati’s Tony Cingrani, the longest home run hit this season at Great American Ball Park. After the Reds climbed to within 3-2, he came back with a three-run homer in the fifth.
Van Slyke finished the night 3 for 3 with two walks, three runs and four RBI, all career highs.
With Dan Haren (6-4) pitching well enough in his 5 1/3 innings and with the bullpen -- supported by three double plays -- turning in 3 2/3 scoreless of relief, it made enough for the Dodgers to capture the opener of their four-game series in Cincinnati.
After J.P. Howell held the Reds scoreless for his 1 2/3 innings, Brandon League was given the eighth. Cincinnati immediately loaded the bases with no outs on a single and a pair of walks.
But League got Ryan Ludwick on a comebacker to start a double play and Brayan Pena to ground out softly to shortstop Hanley Ramirez to escape the threat and further frustrate the Reds.
Kenley Jansen, who hadn’t pitched in a week, retired the Reds in order in the ninth.