LOS ANGELES -- A two-run home run by Brandon Phillips in the first inning held up for Homer Bailey and the Reds, who never trailed and were able to hold off the Dodgers 3-2 on Wednesday night to prevent a sweep at Dodger Stadium.
The loss snapped the Dodgers' win streak at three games, the third time they have won three in a row this season. They have not had a winning or losing streak longer than three games all season.
For the third consecutive night Todd Frazier got the Reds' first hit, this one a double to left field. The next batter cashed him in and then some, as Phillips hit one into the pavilion in left for a 2-0 Cincinnati lead.
Dee Gordon led off the bottom of the first with a double for the Dodgers and advanced to third base on a ground ball by Andre Ethier. But Gordon was left stranded at third base as both Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez struck out to end the frame.
Justin Turner hit a leadoff double of his own in the fifth inning, and also advanced to third base with one out. But this time the Dodgers scored with Kershaw at the plate, thanks to a passed ball by Devin Mesoraco to cut the Dodgers' deficit to 2-1.
After the home run by Phillips, Clayton Kershaw retired 14 of the next 16 batters he faced, including eight by strikeout, before Frazier doubled again to leadoff the sixth. He advanced to third, then scored on a wild pitch by Kershaw, building the Reds' lead back to two runs.
It was the second ball of the game to get by catcher Drew Butera, who also had a passed ball in the second. Butera leads the majors with seven passed balls on the season despite only catching in 21 games.
Yasiel Puig led off the sixth inning with a home run to right field to pull the Dodgers to within 3-2. It was Puig's 11th home run of the season and 30th of his career, in his 152nd career game. Only two players in Dodgers history hit more home runs in their first 162 games: Frank Howard and Mike Piazza, with 31 each.
Down 3-2, Gordon led off the eighth with a walk against Manny Parra, then appeared to have second base stolen as Ethier laid down a sacrifice bunt. It was not only just the second sacrifice bunt of Ethier's nine-year career, but only his second attempt, and first since 2008.
It also left first base open with Puig due up.
But the Reds decided to challenge Puig with former Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton, and it worked as Puig flew out to the warning track in right field, advancing Gordon to third. Ramirez followed with another fly ball to right field to end the inning, with Gordon stuck on third base for the second time of the night.
Mattingly said the only concern with a straight steal for Gordon was getting a jump off the left-hander Parra. The play was called such that Ethier had the decision to either bunt or let the ball go depending on what he say in front of him.
"If [Ethier] sees [Gordon] go then it's a pitch you can bunt through, but that's a lot easier said than done when you're trying to focus on getting the job done," Mattingly said. "We ended up really getting what we want. We get two shots."
Aroldis Chapman pitched a perfect ninth inning for his fifth save of the season.
Gordon walked to the dugout after reaching second base during a pitching change, appeared to be hurt, though he stayed in. He said after the game it was a cramp, and he went into the dugout to get a drink of water.
Kershaw allowed four doubles and a home run on Wednesday, tying a career high with five extra-base hits in one start. It was the third such start of Kershaw's career, and his first since May 25, 2012.
Kershaw also allowed four extra-base hits on May 17, one of just 10 times in his career he has allowed four or more extra-base hits, and never more than two in any one season.
Kershaw pitched seven innings, giving the Dodgers four straight games with at least seven innings from their starting pitcher for the first time since Aug. 13-16, 2011 (Kershaw, Hiroki Kuroda, Ted Lilly and Chad Billingsley).
Jamie Romak after 4,306 minor league plate appearances made his major league debut pinch hitting for Kershaw with two outs in the seventh inning. Romak, who was called up earlier Wednesday, grounded hard to second base to end the inning.
Zach Cozart nearly grounded into a double play in the seventh inning, but was called safe at first base. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly challenged the call, but the safe call was upheld after review. The Dodgers have been successful in six of 11 challenges this season.
Home runs: Yasiel Puig (11); Brandon Phillips (4)
Stolen bases: none
WP - Homer Bailey (5-3): 7 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
LP - Clayton Kershaw (3-2): 7 IP, 7 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts
Sv - Aroldis Chapman (5): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts