The Dodgers tip toed through another quiet loss on Thursday morning in Cincinnati. On a getaway day, the Dodgers just couldn’t get anything going against Alfredo Simon who only allowed one run to the Dodgers through eight solid innings of work. The Dodgers only run came in the top of the first on a Matt Kemp RBI single. Kemp had two hits in the game, and he kept his mouth shut this time. Simon shut down the Dodgers thereafter, and Aroldis Chapman did his job in the ninth to give the Reds the series split.
The Reds jumped on Zack Greinke early in the first thanks to a Todd Frazier two-run homerun. That mistake by Greinke would eventually cost him the game since the Dodgers couldn’t muster more than one run in the game anyways. Brandon League coughed up more runs in the ninth, but it didn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. The Dodgers had a perfect opportunity in the seventh after Kemp and Ethier hit consecutive singles, but Kemp is caught between third and home and SVS strikes out. Of course the Dodgers couldn’t get anyone home in the ninth thanks to Chapman’s flaming fastballs. Miguel Rojas and Jamie Romak had zero chance.
Dodgers 1 8 0
Reds 4 7 0
WP- Simon (9-3)
LP- Greinke (8-3)
S- Chapman (10)
Alfredo Simon retires Dee Gordon on a grounder to first to open up the first. Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig then hit back-to-back singles off Simon. Adrian Gonzalez continues to struggle at the plate, and he makes the second out on a liner to right field. Matt Kemp’s RBI single to slightly right center field brings home Turner, and the Dodgers jump ahead 1-0. Andre Ethier pops out to end the inning.
Zack Greinke takes the mound for his 14th start of the season in the home half of the first, and the Reds promptly take the reins right away against
Greinke. Skip Schumaker singles in front of Dre in center field, and then Todd Frazier homers to right field, and the Reds take over the lead 2-1. That only took 6 pitches from Greinke to serve up 2 runs. Joey Votto doubles to left to continue the rally for the Reds. Still nobody out. The Reds get another break on an error by Adrian Gonzalez. Brandon Phillips is called safe on a foot race to the first base bag between Phillips and Greinke as Dee Gordon made a heads up play to retrieve the ball and throw to first after Gonzo missed the chopper. The Dodgers will challenge the call at first on Phillips. The umps review the play, and call Phillips out at first. Votto takes third on the play. Since the call was overturned, it was now just a 3-4-1- put out rather than an error on Gonzo. Jay Bruce grounds out. The inning finally ends on Greinke’s 20th pitch, a called strike to Devin Mesoraco.
Miguel Rojas singles to center field with one out in the second. Greinke strikes out, and Gordon grounds out to end the inning.
Greinke strikes out two in the bottom of the second inning, and he has settled down to pitch a perfect frame.
Alfredo Simon counters with a 1-2-3 inning of his own in the top of the third as he induces three outs from Turner, Puig, and Gonzo.
Other than a Joey Votto single, Greinke pitches a nice scoreless third inning.
The Dodgers roll over 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth.
Both pitchers have settled down since the first inning, and Zack Greinke retires the side in order in the bottom of the fourth.
The Dodgers just can’t get anything going against Simon, and they once again go down 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth.
Greinke is on a roll as well, and Cincinnati goes down in order in the bottom of the fifth.
Justin Turner is hit by a pitch to start off the sixth. Puig grounds into a force out. Then the Dodgers end the inning on the old strike ‘em out throw ‘em out play as Gonzo whiffs at the plate while Puig gets thrown out attempting to steal second. Sigh.
Greinke walks Todd Frazier to begin the bottom of the sixth, but Joey Votto erases the lead-off walk by grounding into a double play. Phillips grounds out to end the inning.
In the seventh, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier hit back-to-back singles to start things off. I get sentimental when I see the two long-tenured Dodgers get hits in the same inning. Tim Federowicz flies out. Then Kemp is mowed down between third and home on a Rojas grounder to third. Ethier makes it to third on the play, but there’s two outs. Don Mattingly has to go to his bench to pinch-hit for Zack Greinke. Scott Van Slyke who pathetically waves at strike three to end the inning and squash the scoring opportunity.
Zack Greinke pitched 6 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits with 3 strikeouts and a walk on 72 pitches.
J.P. Howell is in for the bottom of the seventh in relief of Greinke who goes out losing. Howell pitches a nice 1-2-3 inning, and he has really been a bright light in this Dodgers bullpen.
Justin Turner singles with one out in the top of the eighth. That’s Turner’s second hit of the game out of the two spot. Puig grounds into a force out, even though the replay shows that Brandon Phillips came off the bag. Gonzo hits into an inning ending force out.
Alfredo Simon pitched 8 innings and allowed 1 run on 7 hits with 5 strikeouts and no walks on 104 pitches.
Brandon League is in for the bottom of the eighth. Zack Cozart promptly doubles to the left field corner to lead-off the inning. Billy Hamilton bunts Cozart to third, and a wild pitch with Schumaker at the plate allows the third Cincinnati run to come home. Skip then doubles to center field, and it looks like the old Brandon League again here. Frazier grounds out for the second out, and Joey Votto will be intentionally walked. Ryan Ludwick then singles in another run. 4-1 Cincy. Bruce grounds out to finally end the inning.
Kemp, Ethier, and FedEx will face Chapman in the top of the ninth. Matt Kemp draws a lead-off walk. Chapman strikes out Ethier on a 101-mph fastball. FedEx singles to left, and Kemp advances to third. Rojas strikes out, and it’ll be up to Jamie Romak who predictably strikes out.
The Dodgers drop to 35-33 and end up splitting the four-game series in Cincinnati. The Dodgers return home, and they’ll host the D-backs at Dodger Stadium this weekend beginning Friday night with a Clayton Kershaw start.