The Reds homered twice against Zack Greinke, and on Thursday the Dodgers weren't able to mount a third consecutive comeback win. Cincinnati captured the opener of the four-game weekend series at Dodger Stadium, 5-2.
Old friend Xavier Paul greeted Greinke with a solo home run well into the right field pavilion with one out in the first inning. Fellow former Dodger Cesar Izturis dropped a single into short left field in the second inning to score Todd Frazier from third base with two outs for an early 2-0 lead.
Yasiel Puig's aggressiveness worked to his advantage to get a run back in the fourth inning. He singled to center field, then after he rounded first base Shin-Soo Choo tried to throw back to first to get Puig, only his throw bounced into the dugout and Puig was awarded two bases, putting him on third base. Adrian Gonzalez cashed him in with a ground out to second.
While a one-run lead against a dealing Mat Latos was tough enough to overcome, Jay Bruce made it even tougher when he muscled a high curve from Greinke into the left field pavilion for a two-run home run and a 4-1 Cincinnati advantage.
Latos made it hold up until the eighth inning, when another Gonzalez ground out cashed in a Carl Crawford double to cut the lead to 4-2. A single by Hanley Ramirez brought the tying run to the plate in Andre Ethier, but his line drive against left-hander Manny Parra found the glove of Izturis at short to end the inning.
Latos has made 10 starts in his career against the Dodgers, and including Thursday night has allowed one or fewer earned runs in six of them. But despite his 2.32 ERA against Los Angeles, this was only his third career win against the Dodgers (3-6).
Down three in the ninth inning, the Dodgers managed to get the tying run to the plate against Aroldis Chapman but Crawford lined out to shallow left to end the game.
- Hanley Ramirez was 2-for-4 with a stolen base on Thursday, and on the season has stolen six bases without getting caught.
- Choo was caught off second base on a well-executed fake by Ramirez and Skip Schumaker in the eight inning. Joey Votto hit a single to center but the middle infielders tricked Choo into believing the ball had been caught, causing him to run back toward first, and Choo was quickly tagged out.
- Mark Ellis didn't start, but delivered a pinch hit single in the ninth inning to extend his hitting streak to seven games, during which he is hitting .462 (12-for-26).
- Carlos Marmol allowed a run in the ninth inning, and in two appearances as a Dodger has allowed eight of 16 batters faced to reach base.
Clayton Kershaw takes the mound on Friday night, looking to stop the bleeding of the one-game losing streak. He trails Reds starter Homer Bailey in career no-hitters by two.
Home runs: Xavier Paul (6), Jay Bruce (21)
WP - Mat Latos (10-3): 7⅔ IP, 8 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
LP - Zack Greinke (8-3): 7 IP, 6 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
Sv - Aroldis Chapman (24): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts