The Dodgers avoided an embarrassing season sweep by the Reds and salvaged a 8-1 win at the Great American Ball Park on Wednesday afternoon. The offense came alive, going 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Ross Stripling hadn’t made a start in over a month, and his rust was apparent right away in a 21-pitch first inning. Yasmani Grandal threw out Scott Schebler at second on a steal attempt, and that would turn out to be an important out. Jose Peraza hit a home run in the next at-bat, giving the Reds an early 1-0 lead.
Anthony DeSclafani was perfect through the first three innings, striking out four. It looked as if the Dodgers’ offense was dead again. The bats finally woke up, and they strung together some key hits in the fourth, plating two runs and taking a lead in the series for the first time.
For the second straight game, Joc Pederson hit a homer. His solo shot off DeSclafani in the top of the fourth tied the game at a run apiece.
Less than 24 hours later, @yungjoc650 does it again. #JOCPOP pic.twitter.com/ehbBwGgikY— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 12, 2018
Max Muncy singled, and Grandal hit a long fly ball to center field for a go-ahead double. A little boy interfered to reach out and catch the ball, and the umpires ruled it a double. Muncy was allowed to score on the play since he was running with the pitch and likely would have scored if it had bounced off the wall. The Reds challenged the call, but the call was upheld.
Stripling left the game in the bottom of the fourth with the Dodgers in front. He went 3 ⅓ innings and allowed one run on three hits with four strikeouts and a walk on 51 pitches (30 strikes).
The Dodgers batted around in the fifth, plating four more runs. Justin Turner’s two-run RBI single gave the Dodgers a 4-1 lead. The Reds went to their bullpen, but the Dodgers’ bats weren’t fazed. Grandal came up with his second scoring base hit, a RBI single off left-hander Wandy Peralta. An error on second baseman Scooter Gennett allowed Cody Bellinger to reach safely and the fourth run of the frame to score with Muncy.
Turner continued to show Cincy who looks better in red in the sixth with a RBI double off the wall. For the third inning in a row, Grandal drove in a run with a RBI single off Matt Wisler, and the Dodgers took a commanding 8-1 lead.
Yasiel Puig also quietly had a great day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a walk, a strikeout and a stolen base.
Paul Goldschmidt eat your heart out.
With that single, Scooter Gennett will finish with the highest single-season batting average against the Dodgers (min. 20 PA). He’s currently 17 for 25 (.680). Previous high was .632 by David Eckstein in 2007)— Eric Stephen (@ericstephen) September 12, 2018
The Dodgers’ bullpen did an admirable job as well. Zac Rosscup, Caleb Ferguson, Dylan Floro, Pat Venditte, Josh Fields and Kenley Jansen combined to pitch 5.2 scoreless innings in relief of Stripling.
That one felt good.
The Dodgers travel to St. Louis to take on the red hot Cardinals for a challenging four-game series at Busch Stadium that could make or break the season for LA. Clayton Kershaw (7-5, 2.42 ERA, 3.03 FIP) will face rookie southpaw Austin Gomber (5-0, 2.93 ERA, 3.65 FIP) in the series opener on Thursday with first pitch at 4:15 PM PST.
Home runs: Peraza (11), Joc Pederson (21)
WP - Caleb Ferguson (6-2): 1 IP, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts
LP - Anthony DeSclafani (7-5): 4 ⅔ IP, 5 hits, 6 runs (5 earned), 3 walks, 5 strikeouts