The Dodgers got to show off their shiny new toys against a left-hander, but fell behind early and couldn’t catch up in a 6-5 loss to the Reds on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.
Cincinnati rookie left-hander Brandon Williamson gave the Dodgers plenty of chances, allowing eight hits and walking twice as many (four) as he struck out (two). But the Dodgers grounded into three double plays, and ran into a pair of outs on the bases.
Chris Taylor was erased trying to stretch a single into a double in the second inning. Kiké Hernández followed with a two-out double, but was stranded.
Fellow new acquisition Amed Rosario doubled to open the fourth inning, and scored on a two-out single by Miguel Rojas, only to have Rojas caught up between first and second, resulting in a run down that eventually got Taylor (who walked) out between third and home to prevent a further rally with the top of the lineup due up.
Against left-handers, the Dodgers entered Friday with a 110 wRC+, which is still above average but is tied for 11th in MLB. It pales in comparison to the 117 wRC+ against right-handed pitching, which is tied for second in the majors. This is the seventh year running the Dodgers have been above average against lefties, but just not as good as they hit righties.
Hitting left-handers better was the goal of trading for both Hernández and Rosario, not to mention strengthening the bench.
The bench helped in the seventh with the Dodgers down four runs. David Peralta pinch-hit for Hernández with a leadoff double, then James Outman walked while pinch-hitting for Rojas. After a Mookie Betts walk to load the bases, Freddie Freeman singled home two. Then two outs later, Rosario remained in against right-hander Ian Gibaut and singled home another, pulling the Dodgers to within a run.
The Dodgers needed that inning because in the top of the frame, Yency Almonte had his worst outing in a long while. He retired only one of his seven batters faced, allowing a home run, a single, a hit batter, and three walks. One walk was intentional but came after falling behind 3-0 to Elly De La Cruz with first base open. Almonte allowed three runs, his first earned runs allowed since June 14.
De La Cruz struck first in the first inning as well, tripling into the right field corner off Bobby Miller, then scoring on a ground out. Miller allowed a double to Matt McLain and a home run to Jake Fraley for a quick 3-0 deficit just four batters into the game. Miller allowed four hits in the inning, which required 33 pitches to complete, which shortened his night.
But Miller settled down after that, allowing only two more hits and didn’t walk a batter all night. He struck out six in five innings.
Reds closer Alexis Díaz entered with two outs in the eighth inning and Outman on first base. Outman stole second to put a runner in scoring position, but Mookie Betts grounded out to end the frame.
Díaz then went through Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, and J.D. Martinez in short order in the ninth to close out the win for the visitors.
Home runs: Jake Fraley (15), Spencer Steer (15)
WP — Brandon Williamson (3-2): 5⅔ IP, 8 hits, 4 walks, 2 strikeouts
LP — Bobby Miller (6-2): 5 IP, 6 hits, 3 runs, 6 strikeouts
Sv — Alexis Díaz (31): 1⅓ IP, zeroes
The Dodgers try to snap their two-game losing skid on Saturday night (6:10 p.m., SportsNet LA), with Emmet Sheehan on the mound against Reds right-hander Luke Weaver.