Josh Beckett continued his renaissance and this time got run support to go with it, leading the Dodgers over the Reds 6-1 on Tuesday night at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. The Dodgers have won a season-high three straight games for a fourth time this year, and own the best road record in the majors at 22-12.
The start of the game was delayed by two hours, five minutes by rain, but the result was vintage Beckett.
The right-hander struck out seven in his six scoreless innings to lower his staff-leading ERA to just 2.35. He allowed only two hits and a walk, and just about the only one of Beckett's 90 pitches that didn't go exactly where he wanted was one that beaned Zack Cozart in the left ear flap.
Cozart, amazingly, stayed in.
Beckett composed his fourth scoreless start of the season, his fifth with no earned runs allowed, his ninth start in 12 attempts allowing two or fewer runs. He has 70 strikeouts in 72⅔ innings on the season and a 24 percent strikeout rate that is his highest since 2003.
In his last four starts Beckett has 24 strikeouts, seven walks and a 1.38 ERA.
The Dodgers backed Beckett with five doubles, including two by Adrian Gonzalez to snap an 0-for-20 skid. But he wasn't alone.
Andre Ethier was 2-for-3 with an RBI two-bagger in the second inning, his 10th double in his last 32 games, over 117 plate appearances, after opening the season with no doubles in 23 games.
Justin Turner drove in a run with a single in the sixth inning and on the night was 2-for-4 with a run scored. He has four straight multi-hit games, he has driven in 12 runs in his last 14 starts and has scored at least one run in 11 of his last 14 starts.
Yasiel Puig was 2-for-5 with a double, and he even stole a base standing up, though he did arrive at second base quite awkwardly in that seventh-inning theft.
Every Dodgers starter either scored or drove in a run, or both, except catcher Drew Butera, and he reached base twice with a hit and a walk.
The Dodgers will try for their first four-game winning streak of the year on Wednesday. Hyun-Jin Ryu goes for his fifth straight victory, facing off against Reds ace Johnny Cueto.
Home runs: none
WP - Josh Beckett (4-3): 6 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
LP - Mike Leake (3-6): 5⅓ IP, 9 hits, 5 runs, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts