Dodgers 2 7 0
Reds 1 6 0
WP- Kershaw (10-6)
LP- Bailey (5-10)
S- Jansen (13)
HR- Ramirez (11)
Thanks to Scott for holding down the fort while I was on a short vacation. The Dodgers were busy sweeping Toronto and winning the entire road trip. But the Dodgers hit a big snag called Mat Latos on Thursday evening when they returned home to play a three-game series with Cincinnati. The Dodgers have been impressive on the road, and have a historic 10-game road victory streak going on. Yet they will need to be as equally successful at home in order to win the division.
It was a tough pitching duel through 5 1/2 innings. The Dodgers left men on base and squandered scoring opportunities, and Kershaw was able to keep the Reds lineup to only three hits until the game changer. That was none other than Hanley Ramirez who hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the sixth. Cincinnati gets one back in the top of the seventh with a Phillips double and a Bruce single. Kershaw battled through eight innings while only surrendering one run to the tough Cincinnati lineup. Homer Bailey, who threw a no-hitter earlier this year, gave up one mistake pitch to Hanley Ramirez which was the difference in the game. Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect inning to close shop in the top of the ninth, and he blew past Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce on his way to this 13th save. Clayton Kershaw got his much-deserved 10th victory.
With two outs in the top of the first inning, Joey Votto lines a double to center field against Clayton Kershaw. Mark Ellis makes a nice play to retire Brandon Phillips on a groundout, and it will be Homer Bailey’s turn to take the mound.
Carl Crawford leads off with a groundball up the middle for a single. Yasiel Puig grounds into a force out which should have been a double play if it weren’t for a slight bobble by shortstop Zack Cozart. It doesn’t matter much, because Puig is then caught stealing with Adrian Gonzalez at-bat for the second out of the bottom of the first. Gonzo grounds out to Votto to end the inning.
Kershaw pitches a nice 1-2-3 inning in the top of the second.
Hanley Ramirez is called out on strikes, and Hanley angrily curses at the umpire. Hanley is even still grumbling over in the dugout after. Andre Ethier flies out. A.J. Ellis draws a two-out walk. Juan Uribe lines out to center to end the frame.
Corky Miller leads off the bottom of the second with a base hit to center. Homer Bailey grounds into a double play. Shin-Soo Choo strikes out and become’s Kershaw’s third strikeout victim of the game.
The Dodgers waste a scoring opportunity in the third inning. Mark Ellis leads off the inning with a single, and he advances to second on a successful sacrifice bunt by Kershaw. Crawford singles, but Votto makes a diving stop to prevent the ball from going through and the run from scoring. Puig strikes out swinging, and Gonzalez lines out to right field. MEllis is stranded at third.
Chris Heisey doubles to center field after the ball bounces off Ethier’s glove on a sliding catch attempt. Kershaw whiffs Votto for a big first out. Brandon Phillips grounds out, and Bruce also strikes out as the Reds fail to cash in the lead-off double.
In the bottom of the fourth, Hanley Ramirez, who may still have a chip on his shoulder after being called out on strikes in the first inning, proceeds to single and steal second. Ethier flies out to right field, and Hanley takes off and just beats the throw by Bruce to third. A.J. is plunked in the arm with a Bailey pitch, and the Dodgers have first and third with one out. Then Hanley has a huge TOOTBLAN when he completely misses the plate after tagging up on a fly ball to right by Uribe. Jay Bruce fires a strong throw which is off line, but Corky Miller is able to get Hanley after he failed to touch home plate and didn’t slide. That’s another botched play at home by the Dodgers. Luckily Hanley didn’t hurt himself like Matt Kemp did.
Kershaw retires the side in order in the top of the fifth.
Carl Crawford gets by Votto and singles to right with two out in the bottom of the fifth. With Adrian Gonzalez on deck, Puig swings freely on a 3-0 pitch, and then he ends up striking out again which ends the inning. He really should have taken a walk with Gonzalez on deck.
Kershaw, who was just struck out by Homer Bailey in the previous inning, returns the favor by striking out Bailey to lead-off the sixth. Choo flies out, and Heisey strikes out. That’s Kersh’s seventh K.
Gonzo leads off the bottom of the sixth with a single. Then the stalemate is finally broken as Hanley Ramirez goes deep for a
two-run homerun! The line drive just clears the left field fence. That’s Hanley’s 11th homerun of the year. Ethier grounds out, and A.J. Ellis flies out to deep right. Uribe grounds out, but the Dodgers take a 2-0 lead.
Brandon Phillips doubles to right field with one out in the top of the seventh. That’s the Reds fourth hit of the night off Kershaw. Bruce singles to center, and Phillips comes into score making it a 2-1 game. Bruce takes second on a wild pitch with Todd Frazier batting. Kersh rears back to strike out Frazier. Cozart grounds out to second, but the Reds get one home.
The Dodgers go down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh.
Derrick Robinson, pinch-hitter, doubles past a drawn in Uribe with one out in the top of the eighth. Kershaw looks like he’s tiring at this point. Choo grounds out on a comebacker to Kershaw. Don Mattingly goes out to talk to Kersh since he’s made a lot of pitches. Heisey pops out to MEllis, and Kershaw pitches out of the jam to preserve the lead!
Clayton Kershaw pitched 8 innings and allowed 1 run on 6 hits with 8 strikeouts and no walks on 118. pitches. His ERA dips back below 2.01 to 1.96.
Homer Bailey pitched 7 innings and allowed 2 runs on 7 hits with 5 strikeouts and a walk on 108 pitches.
J.J. Hoover, a right-hander, will come out of the Cincinnati pen for the bottom of the eighth. Puig strikes out for the third time. Gonzalez flies out. Hanley fouls out, and the Dodgers go down quickly against Hoover.
Kenley Jansen will come in to pitch the top of the ninth inning in this close one-run game. Joey Votto lines out to Crawford in right for a big out. Kenley then proceeds to whiff both Phillips and Bruce to give the Dodgers the win! It was a 96-mph cutter which did in Bruce.
The Dodgers improve to 54-48 and remain 1/2 game in front of Arizona in first place. The D-backs easily won their game to San Diego on Friday night.