Saturday afternoon began by celebrating the illustrious career of Joe Morgan, and it ended in another celebration. In the bottom of the 10th inning, secret weapon Billy Hamilton came off the bench and swiped second. Todd Frazier delivered the dagger on his walk-off RBI single, giving the Reds the 4-3 win.
With Zack Greinke and Mat Latos on the bump, runs were supposed to be at a premium. Instead, the Dodgers and Reds combined to score five runs through two frames.
Hanley Ramirez started the surprising hit party with a RBI single. Michael Young failed to get anyone home with the basses full of blue and one out. Despite two walks and two hits, the Dodgers only got one run in the first inning, stranding two in scoring position.
The Reds didn't take long to respond, tacking on two runs in the home half of the first via four consecutive singles. Jay Bruce knotted the game up at one with a RBI single. The recently returned Ryan Ludwick gave Cincinnati the 2-1 advantage on a RBI single.
Puig approached the dish in the second with A.J. Ellis on third and two outs. Latos and Puig battled it out for seven pitches, as the Cuban sensation added another highlight to his impressive resume. Puig took Latos deep and put Los Angeles back in control at 3-2, going 1-for-4 on the day with two RBI.
For the remainder of the contest, Greinke and Latos went back-and-forth by posting zeroes. Both starters couldn't avoid high pitch counts, shortening their outings significantly. Greinke's final line ended up being six inning, two runs and fanned nine. Latos also didn't bring his A-game, yet still posted a quality start of seven innings, three runs and three strikeouts.
Manager Don Mattingly may feel the like their fourth inning base running error cost them. Adrian Gonzalez singled to right and third base coach Tim Wallach held up Greinke at third. Meanwhile, Carl Crawford wasn't aware and rounded second too far, causing Greinke to sacrifice himself for the third out.
Greinke almost lost the lead in the fifth by loading the bases with a mere out. The National League's RBI leader since 2012, Bruce, couldn't convert on the opportunity. Bruce chased on high cheddar and Ludwick proceeded to also strikeout to retire the side.
"It took a while, but Zack Greinke gets through the fifth and holds onto the 3-2 lead." Fox play-by-play announcer Rich Waltz said.
J.P. Howell cost the Dodgers the win Friday, but he bounced back well. The veteran left-hander escaped a ninth inning jam with runners on first and second and one out.
The usually reliable Pacco Rodriguez didn't take care of business, as Cesar Izturis tied the game up at three on a RBI double. The former blue crew member came into Saturday batting under the Mendoza line, but Izturis went 3-for-4 and played a key role in the Reds win.
Brian Wilson was responsible for the loss on Frazier's walk off single.
The Dodgers try to avoid the sweep with ace Clayton Kershaw on the mound. Dusty Baker turns to the no-hit machine Homer Bailey.
Home Run: Yasiel Puig (15)
WP - J.J. Hoover (4-5): 1 IP, 1 hit, no runs, 1 strikeout
LP - Brian Wilson (1-1): No IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 walk
Magic number: 11 pending the result of the Diamondbacks at Giants.