Dodgers vs. Reds: Hot offense key to run

Tom Szczerbowski

The Dodgers have hit 32 home runs in their last 28 games. It look them 47 games this season before they hit their 32nd home run.

The Dodgers send Zack Greinke to the mound on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series against the Reds, but all eyes are on the plate, where the Dodgers have met quite often of late.

The Dodgers are averaging 5.43 runs per game during their 23-5 run, and their 152 runs during that span is one more run than the team's previous 42 games.

They have scored 113 runs in 19 games in July, the most in baseball and 5.95 runs per contest. The only team with a better record than the Dodgers (15-4) this month is the Rays, at 17-3.

The Dodgers have scored 41 runs over their last four games, including at least eight runs in all four games. The team hasn't had a streak of eight-run games that long since Sept. 9-11, 1985. Since 1900, the Dodgers record is five straight games, last accomplished from June 20-24, 1945.

The team has homered at least twice in five of their last six games, including four straight contests. It's the longest streak of two home runs by a Dodger team since a five-game streak from Aug. 17-21, 2004.

Greinke, who is 5-0 with a 2.36 ERA over his last six starts, has been even hotter at the plate. He is 7-for-10 with two doubles in July, and was even used as a pinch hitter once, and walked. Greinke on the season is hitting .406/.486/.469 in 39 plate apperances.

Joey Votto is 5-for-16 with three home runs and a double against Greinke, while Shin-Soo Choo is hitting .278/.325/.538 against him in 40 plate appearances. But Greinke has had success against Jay Bruce (2-for-19) and Brandon Phillips (3-for-14, double).

Andre Ethier, who was 8-for-14 with five doubles and a home run in three games in Toronto, is 7-for-21 (.333) with two doubles and two walks against Reds starter Mat Latos in his career. The other three Dodgers with at least 10 plate appearances against Latos have all had tough times at the plate: Juan Uribe is 4-for-19 (.211), Hanley Ramirez is 2-for-11 (.182) and Mark Ellis is 1-for-11 (.091).

Old friends Xavier Paul, in left field batting second, and Cesar Izturis, at shortstop batting eighth, are in the starting lineup for the Reds.

Game info

Time: 7:10 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday

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