Devin Mesoraco's two-out, two-run double in the sixth inning off Chad Billingsley gave the Cincinnati Reds the lead, and the Dodgers bullpen faltered late in their 8-2 loss to Cincinnati on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
Despite his eight strikeouts and no walks, the sixth game of his career with no walks and at least eight strikeouts, Billingsley has now lost four consecutive starts for the second time in his career, and the first time since July 29 to August 13, 2007.
Three batters into the game, Jerry Hairston Jr. hit a ball into the seats while still in fair territory. After a brief consultation with baseball officials, this result was deemed to be a "home run," a concept foreign to the Dodgers. Hairston was permitted to run around the bases unimpeded and the Dodgers were awarded a single run on the scoreboard.
The home run was the first home run for the Dodgers since June 22, after a span of 345 plate appearances without a long ball, including nine full games. It was their first home run at Dodger Stadium since June 12.
It was Hairston's first extra-base hit since June 9, when he homered, had two doubles, and drove in a career-high five runs in Seattle. Since then he was limited to nine singles and seven walks in 62 plate appearances over 18 games.
The Dodgers started the second inning with the first three runners reaching base, but instead of a bases-load situation with nobody out, the Dodgers had runners on first and third with one out because Juan Uribe got caught between second and third base on Scott Van Slyke's single. A sacrifice fly by newcomer Luis Cruz gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead, but the big inning proved too elusive.
Billingsley was cruising through five innings, having struck out two batters in each of the first three innings, and had retired nine in a row at one point. The only real hiccup came with two outs in the fifth, when Billingsley hit Zack Cozart in the helmet with a pitch, a scary moment that saw the ball carom on the fly back near the Dodgers on-deck circle on the third base side. Cozart, who was 2-for-2 before getting hit by pitch, left the game but walked off the field under his own power.
Cozart suffered a mild concussion, and will be reevaluated on Tuesday.
Down 2-0, the Reds opened the sixth with a double by Brandon Phillips, followed by singles from Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier to cut the Dodgers' lead in half. Billingsley induced a pair of ground balls and was close to escaping the inning without further damage until Mesoraco's double turned the tide.
The Reds added a pair of insurance runs off Todd Coffey in the eighth inning, his first runs allowed since May 31. Coffey had gone 10 appearances and 8 2/3 innings. Jamey Wright allowed three more runs in the ninth.
- Uribe left the game after the fifth inning with a sprained right ankle. He is listed as day-to-day.
- Dee Gordon, who was out of the starting lineup for the first time in 39 games after suffering a cramp in his left leg, entered the game in a double switch in the eighth inning. He was 0-for-1 at the plate.
Mark Ellis was 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBI Monday night in his third of four rehab games with Class A Rancho Cucamonga. Ellis, Matt Kemp, and Javy Guerra will all play for the Quakes on Tuesday.
- The Dodgers have scored two runs or less in 11 of their last 15 games.
- Monday night marked the first time all season, spanning 41 home games to date, that the Dodgers have played Don't Stop Believin' in the middle of the eighth inning at Dodger Stadium.
Home Runs: Jerry Hairston Jr. (3)
WP - Homer Bailey (6-6): 8 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
LP - Chad Billingsley (4-8): 6 IP, 8 hits, 3 runs, 8 strikeouts