Alex Wood continued his brilliant first half with eight strong innings, and the Dodgers scratched together enough offense to beat the Reds 3-1 on Friday night at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
The Dodgers beat the Reds for a sixth consecutive time — including four times in four tries this season — and have beaten Cincinnati in 15 of their last 17 meetings.
Wood kept the Reds off balance all night, scattering four hits and a hit by pitch across his eight innings, matching his career high. He struck out five and induced 11 ground ball outs, needing just 89 pitches to do so, improving to 7-0 on the season.
The Reds didn’t score until Devin Mesoraco hit a solo home run against Wood with two outs in the eighth inning. The catcher has hit three of his six home runs this season against the Dodgers.
Friday’s gem he lowered Wood’s ERA to a minuscule 1.90. He doesn’t have enough innings to qualify, but among pitchers with at least 50 innings Wood ranks second in the majors in ERA, trailing only Astros starter Dallas Keuchel (1.67).
Joc Pederson got the Dodgers started with a solo home run in the second inning. He added a ground rule double in the fourth and finished 2-for-3 with a walk on the night, matching his career total for hits (2-for-17) in his previous five games in Cincinnati.
Justin Turner extended his hitting streak to 12 games, going 2-for-2 with two walks on Friday, and is hitting a robust .384 on the season. One of those walks came with two outs in the third inning, followed by a single by Cody Bellinger, then a double by Chris Taylor. a Turner scored on the double, but thoughts of a 3-0 lead ended when Bellinger was thrown out at the plate, ending the frame.
Wood even helped himself at the plate on Friday. After walking earlier in the game, Wood came to the plate in the eighth inning after a pair of two-out walks by Drew Storen. a Wood made him pay with a ground ball single just inside first base, bringing home an insurance run for that 3-0 lead, helping to ease the blow of Mesoraco’s home run coming in the bottom of the inning.
The Dodgers turned to Kenley Jansen with a two-run lead in the ninth inning, and he converted his 14th save in as many opportunities this season. Jansen struck out three in the inning, giving Jansen 48 strikeouts and no walks in 28⅔ innings in 2017, extending his major league record for most strikeouts before his first walk to open a season.
These two teams are at it again on Saturday, with Hyun-jin Ryu starting the 1:10 p.m. PT game. Asher Wojciechowski gets the ball for the Reds.
Home run: Joc Pederson (3); Devin Mesoraco (6)
WP - Alex Wood (7-0): 8 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 5 strikeouts
LP - Tim Adleman (4-3): 6 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (14): 1 IP, 1 hit, 3 strikeouts