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Bellinger clears air over bunt gone wrong

First baseman defied take sign with 3-0 count in ninth inning of Saturday's loss
MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- It was Cody Bellinger's turn to clear the air.

After defying a take sign and bunting a 3-0 pitch into the first out of the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday night with the Dodgers trailing by two runs, Bellinger went to manager Dave Roberts and took responsibility for his surprising actions.

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LOS ANGELES -- It was Cody Bellinger's turn to clear the air.

After defying a take sign and bunting a 3-0 pitch into the first out of the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday night with the Dodgers trailing by two runs, Bellinger went to manager Dave Roberts and took responsibility for his surprising actions.

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"He understands. We talked," said Roberts. "Cody's a great young man. He cares. He just wants to do well. But there's a process you have to abide by and he's learning, we're all learning. Cody is a talented player who's going to continue to get better."

It was Bellinger's second incident with the manager in the past two weeks. In San Francisco, Roberts pulled Bellinger from a game for lack of hustle on April 29. That time, Bellinger pushed back and insisted he always hustles. That time, Roberts met with Bellinger to clear the air.

This time, Roberts said there was no need for discipline, because Bellinger handled the situation differently.

"He, to his credit, came in last night and addressed it and took accountability for it," said Roberts. "So for me, as a young player, that's the biggest win. To not make an excuse and own it and we move on."

Bellinger, who homered in the third inning Saturday night, said after the game that he ignored the take sign and tried to bunt for a single because he thought he'd succeed, but if he had it to do over again, he wouldn't have bunted.

Roberts pointed out that Bellinger didn't make the only mistake in the 5-3 loss to the Reds, as Yasmani Grandal was doubled off second base on Yasiel Puig's line drive to third base that ended the bottom of the eighth.

"That happens when you're trying to make something happen," Roberts said. "Guys, people, try to do more when they're struggling. That's natural. But you can't panic. People are guilty of that, but you have to stay the course."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Cody Bellinger