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Dodgers keep hitting to beat Reds again

Dodgers now one win away from a season sweep of the Reds

Los Angeles Dodgers v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

In a back-and-forth affair, the Dodgers took the sixth game of six played against the Reds in 2022, beating Cincinnati 8-4 on Wednesday night. A Great American Ball Park classic with plenty of runs to go around.

Football is the so-called game of inches, but in a sport where pitchers are trying to hit a rather small target, and hitters can see a ball go foul by you guessed it, inches, baseball can also be categorized in a similar manner.

The outcome of a game, the path it takes from very early on, can be affected by plays decided by the tiniest of margins.

After a clean first inning for both starters, already an upgrade over last night’s proceedings in which both sides homered, the Dodgers threatened in the top of the second but were unable to score, but the Reds got the jump on Tyler Anderson.

Following back-to-back doubles by Kyle Farmer and Donovan Solano and a walk by Matt Reynolds, the Reds held a 1-0 lead with the possibility of adding to it with two runners on first and one out. The next two at-bats had outcomes decided by the slimmest of margins.

Albert Almora Jr. grounded into what was originally called a double play, but upon further review, the call was overturned and Almora was ruled safe at first.

The number nine hitter, Aramis Garcia came up and hit a bullet to short, but Trea Turner made a fine play and threw it on a bounce to first. However, because the infield dirt was moist, the ball basically didn’t bounce, and Freeman was unable to make what would have otherwise been a routine play

You can clearly see the ball simply die after hitting the dirt. A play that on most nights would result in an out, cost the Dodgers two runs today and gave the Reds a 3-0 lead after a couple of frames.

Trea Turner looked smooth on defense before the throw bounced away, and did it on the basepaths as well. The Dodgers stranded two runners in the third, but not before Will Smith drove in Trea Turner with a single, and here’s the patented Trea Turner slide on a rare close play with the former Nat running the bases.

The Dodgers would manage to get to Luis Castillo before his night was over, with a three-spot in the fifth inning, but one that served more to mask some of this team’s issues rather than show a true response.

Gavin Lux led off the inning with a hustle double on a line drive through the middle, and the top of the lineup did what it has often done in these situations, it drove in runners in scoring position. Trea Turner grounded out, but Freddie Freeman and Will Smith had back-to-back singles.

The absence of Mookie Betts is creating a ripple effect. Trea Turner moved up to the leadoff spot, and Smith is often hitting third right now. Max Muncy was the cleanup hitter tonight, and although he’s been struggling, there isn’t a clear better option for that role right now.

After Freeman and Smith made the score 3-2, Muncy had another chance to make an impact with two runners on, and although the walk is a positive outcome, it was hardly a competitive at-bat from Castillo’s standpoint, who proceeded to hit Chris Taylor and allow a sac fly to Justin Turner.

Yes, the middle of the order ultimately got the job, but it came with a big help from the opposing starter.

Much like the Dodgers quickly answered when the Reds opened up a 3-0 lead. Cincinnati did exactly that in the top of the sixth, but it could’ve been a lot worse.

Almora led off the frame with a solo shot, and quickly Anderson found himself in a jam with Tommy Pham up and runners on second and third with one out. The Reds outfielder hit a flyball to medium depth at best in left, and CT3 made a perfect throw to get Jonathan India at home. Double play and Anderson escaped the inning with the score tied at 4-4.

The Dodgers would retake the lead in the seventh inning behind a Freddie Freeman solo bomb. The Reds sent Ross Detwiler back out there after an inning of work for the lefty on lefty matchup, he tried to come up and in on a fastball on Freeman and got punished for it.

Following the exact path of Ross Detwiler, Joel Kuhnel also came back out after a scoreless frame and also got burned for it. A couple of walks to Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger set the table for the newest Dodger, Trayce Thompson to drive in two with a double. Trea Turner wrapped up the scoring with a sac fly;

A four-run lead in Great American Ball Park isn’t necessarily a safe one, which meant that Dave Roberts still deployed his high-leverage arms in Daniel Hudson and Craig Kimbrel to wrap up the final two innings.

Wednesday particulars

Home runs: Freddie Freeman (7); Albert Almora Jr. (5)

WP — Alex Vesia (1-0): 1 IP, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts

LP — Ross Detwiler (0-2): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 runs, 1 strikeouts

Up next

It’s an early start Thursday for the final game of the series (9:35 a.m. PT, SportsNet LA). The Dodgers look for better luck against Hunter Greene this time around, and the Reds get their first look of Clayton Kershaw in 2022.