The Dodgers offense was no match for Mat Latos, as they lost 6-0 to the Reds on Saturday at Great American Ball Park. The loss, coupled with the Cardinals' comeback win at Wrigley Field, dropped the Dodgers to three games back of St. Louis for the second National League wild card spot with 10 games to play.
For the second time in three days the Dodgers had to watch a team do something they likely won't do this year: celebrate, as the Reds clinched the National League Central for the second time in three seasons.
Latos allowed just six hits in his eight scoreless innings, and struck out seven with no walks. In his career against the Dodgers, the former Padre Latos has a 2.48 ERA in nine starts, with 17 walks and 54 strikeouts in 54 1/3 innings. But despite his success on the mound against Los Angeles, Latos is now just 2-6 against the Dodgers.
The Padres scored 12 runs for Latos in his eight starts against the Dodgers, but the Reds were able to provide enough support on Saturday.
Jay Bruce crushed a ball well into the right field seats in the fourth inning to break a scoreless tie, and Brandon Phillips added a solo shot in the seventh to make the game 3-0. Cincinnati added three insurance runs in the eighth to further cement the game.
Stephen Fife acquitted himself just fine in his five innings, as he struck out four and walked two. Latos allowed just two runs, but that proved too big a mountain for the Dodgers to climb.
- Jamey Wright walked Bruce in the eighth inning, the first free pass issued by Wright since August 26. Wright went 53 batters without allowing a walk. Wright also gave up three runs, snapping his string of 13 consecutive scoreless appearances.
A.J. Ellis went 0-for-2 to extend his hitless streak to 28 consecutive at-bats. Ellis hasn't had a hit or walk since September 9.
- The Dodgers have scored three runs or less in 13 of their last 16 games.
- The Dodgers' elimination number is now eight.
The Dodgers go for the series win on Sunday afternoon, with their scheduled starter very much in doubt. The team lists Aaron Harang as the opening hurler against the Reds, but he may get hip checked by an eager Clayton Kershaw. Manager Don Mattingly told reporters before Saturday's game that the left-hander was "still in play" for Sunday. Ken Gurnick has more details at MLB.com.
Home Runs: Jay Bruce (34), Brandon Phillips (18)
WP - Mat Latos (13-4): 8 IP, 6 hits, 7 strikeouts
LP - Stephen Fife (0-2): 5 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts