It took the Dodgers a while to solve Johnny Cueto but they eventually did, with a little creativity. Luis Cruz pulled out a page from the Elian Herrera hero playbook and drove in the go-ahead run in a two-run seventh inning, leading the Dodgers to a 3-1 win over the Reds on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
Cruz, in just his second game as a Dodger since getting called up from Triple A Albuquerque, doubled to left center field off Cueto in the seventh inning. James Loney, who singled with one out, lumbered around the bases to score from first base. Catcher Ryan Hanigan tripped Loney, who was able to hook his left leg in and touch the plate before getting tagged, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.
With Tony Gwynn Jr. at the plate Cruz broke for home on a suicide squeeze attempt but Cueto, who didn't issue a walk all night, threw a pitch over Hanigan's head that allowed Cruz to score. Cruz was credited with a steal of home on the play, the first steal of home by a Dodger since Dee Gordon stole second, third, and home in one inning against the Angels on July 1, 2011.
Chris Capuano struck out six and allowed one run in six innings, but he played with fire all night.
The Reds put two runners on with one out in the first inning, but Capuano induced a pair of groundouts by Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce to end the inning. Capuano allowed a leadoff single to Ryan Ludwick in the second inning, but got out of the inning without any damage when Hanigan grounded into a double play.
Cincinnati threatened again in the fourth inning, loading the bases with two outs, but Hanigan grounded into a fielder's choice to end the inning on a controversially close play at second base.
In the fifth inning Capuano allowed two more hits, including a leadoff bloop single by Cueto, but couldn't get a ground ball this time. Instead, Phillips doubled to center to score Cueto to give the Reds a 1-0 lead. However, Capuano was able to limit the damage to one run by striking out Bruce to end the inning.
Capuano allowed six hits and issued three walks in his six innings, and pitched from the stretch to half of the 26 batters he faced. But Capuano allowed just the one run, and retired the final four batters he faced.
The Dodgers didn't do much off Cueto with just two hits in the first five innings, but finally broke through in the sixth inning. Pinch hitter Elian Herrera led off the frame with a single to left field, and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Dee Gordon. After a balk by Cueto advanced Herrera to third base, Bobby Abreu delivered a two-out line drive single to center field to tie the game at 1-1.
Scott Elbert faced one batter, retiring Joey Votto on a fly ball to short left field to end the eighth inning, picking up his first major league win since August 6, 2009.
- Matt Kemp went 2-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout (remember this day, Cameron Hobson!) as the designated hitter Tuesday night in his first rehab game with Class A Rancho Cucamonga.
- In his last rehab game with the Quakes, Mark Ellis went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Ellis could be activated as soon as tomorrow.
Javy Guerra started the game for Rancho Cucamonga, and pitched a scoreless inning with one strikeout in his second rehab game. His activation could come as soon as Thursday, or could come after the All-Star break, depending on Guerra's health and the bullpen usage in the next day or so. "We can't rush Javy, just because there's a spot open. We want him when he's ready," manager Don Mattingly said before the game.
Home Runs: none
WP - Scott Elbert (1-1): 1 batter, 1 out
LP - Johnny Cueto (9-5): 7 IP, 7 hits, 3 runs, 7 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (13): 1 IP, 1 walk