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Dodgers face a different Reds team this time around

Cincinnati is 19-12 since All-Star break

St Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds
Raisel Iglesias and the Reds bullpen have been much better in the last two months.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Dodgers conclude their road trip with a four-game weekend series in Cincinnati against the Reds, a team playing much better than their previous encounter this season.

The Reds were swept away in Los Angeles from May 23-25, getting outscored by the Dodgers 12-3 in three games. But since the All-Star break, Cincinnati is 19-12 (.613), allowing the third--fewest runs per game in baseball (3.81) during that span.

The most notable difference in the Reds’ improvement has been in their bullpen. The club was historically bad in the early season, and through June Cincinnati relievers had a 6.04 ERA and allowed a home run every 21.6 batters faced.

Since July 1, the Reds bullpen has a 2.69 ERA, allowing a home run every 34.3 plate appearances.

The trade of Jay Bruce has opened up an outfield spot for old friend Scott Schebler, who has started 15 of 16 games since getting recalled on Aug. 2. During this major league stint Schebler is hitting .189/.283/.321 with a pair of home runs, and on the season is hitting .188/.264/.333 with three home runs in 42 games and 129 plate appearances.

That post All-Star break run by the Reds has also coincided with another white-hot stretch from Joey Votto, hitting .439/.540/.673 with 27 runs scored, 14 extra-base hits, 21 RBI and 27 walks in 31 games since the break. Votto has reached base by hit or walk in 30 of those games, including each of the last 13 games.

The Dodgers have beaten the Reds nine straight times, dating back to Aug. 13, 2015, a streak that includes a three-game sweep last season in Cincinnati.

Bud Norris gets the ball for the Dodgers, making his first major league start since July 31. Tim Adleman starts for the Reds, making his fifth major league start.

Reds roster move

Cincinnati made a roster move before the weekend series, activating relief pitcher Michael Lorenzen from the bereavement list. The Reds optioned outfielder Kyle Waldrop to Triple-A Louisville, giving Cincinnati 13 pitchers on the 25-man roster, just like the Dodges.

Game info

Time: 4:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA