Hot-hitting Bellinger exits after HBP to knee

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger, baseball’s hottest hitter to begin the season, exited shortly after absorbing a pitch to his right knee in Monday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds.

Bellinger was plunked by a 96 mph fastball from Luis Castillo in the bottom of the third. He remained in a crouch position while being checked on by team trainers, limped slowly to first base, then remained in the game after a light jog up the right-field line.

The next half-inning, Alex Verdugo replaced Bellinger in right field.

Bellinger drove in the Dodgers’ first run in the bottom of the first, giving him 22 RBIs in 18 games to go with a league-leading nine home runs. His slash line is .433/.513/.925.

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