First Inning Fireworks and Sparkling Harang Start Give Dodgers Series Win


Dodgers 4 6 1

Reds 1 3 1

WP- Harang (6-5)

LP- Leake (3-6)

S- Jansen (14)

HR- Mesoraco (5)

The Dodgers were looking to win their first series since defeating the Chicago White Sox last month with a win tonight against the Reds. They not only managed to win the series, but they recaptured first place in the NL West. Before the game we learned that Andre Ethier would be placed on the disabled list, and Mark Ellis was reactivated. Ethier should return on the first game after the All-Star break, July 13th, alongside Matt Kemp. With the injuries mounting this year,  the Dodgers may receive another serious blow. Dee Gordon dislocated his right thumb while sliding into third base in the eighth inning and had to be removed immediately from the game. He will have a MRI tomorrow, and we will keep you updated with the results. Aaron Harang pitched what most likely was the best game he has had in a Dodger uniform. The stoic right-hander only walked one Cincinnati batter and only gave up one run on a solo shot by Mesoraco.

I’m sure most of you are celebrating this great Fourth of July with backyard barbeques, fireworks, and fun. If you missed the game due to the festivities, here’s what happened…

In the top of the first inning Joey Votto doubles to the gap with two outs, but Aaron Harang retires the rest of the Reds in the scoreless opening frame.

Dee Gordon leads-off with a stand-up double against Cincinnati’s Mike Leake. Luis Cruz plops a single over Votto’s head and into right field. Gordon easily scores, and the Dodgers have a quick 1-0 lead! Bobby “Blue” Abreu follows with a single, and there’s still nobody out. The hit barrage continues, and James Loney hits the fourth consecutive Dodger hit of the inning. Cruz plates the second run of the inning against Leake. Adam Kennedy hits into a force play, but it should have been a double play if it weren’t for Zack Cozart‘s error on the play. Cozart threw behind Leake at first, and while the ball got away Abreu scores the third Dodger run of the inning. Scott Van Slyke strikes out swinging. Leake hits Herrera in the back with a fastball. Matt Treanor comes up, and he is the eighth batter of the inning. Matt grounds out to end the first, but not before the Dodgers score three runs on 4 hits. Leake made 30 pitches in the inning.

Aaron Harang has a very nice easy 1-2-3 inning in the second. He even strikes out Jay Bruce for good measure.

Leake whiffs Harang to start things off in the bottom of the second. Gordon grounds out to first. Luis Cruz doubles to left field as the ball bounces right off Ludwick’s glove. Abreu hits a comebacker for the third out.

Devin Mesoraco reaches safely on a bumbling fielding error by Adam Kennedy. Mark Ellis was activated today, so this should be the last game we have to deal with the incompetence at second base. Leake strikes out. Abreu can’t catch up to a shallow Cozart fly ball as his glove comes off in an attempted sliding catch. Cozart is awarded a single. Drew Stubbs hits into a force out. Luckily Harang gets Votto to fly out to center to end the threat.

Adam Kennedy hits a one-out single in the bottom of the third, but he is mowed down at second in a steal attempt with Van Slyke at the plate. Could have been a busted hit and run play. VS makes out on a comebacker to end the inning.

Phillips, Bruce, and Ludwick go down in order in the fourth on five pitches by Harang.

The Dodgers also go down 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the fourth.

The Reds get on board in the fifth as Devin Mesoraco hits a solo homerun to left, 3-1 Dodgers.

Dee Gordon goes down on strikes to open the bottom of the fifth. Cruz and Abreu ground out.

The Dodgers managed to contain Votto and the rest of the Reds offense tonight. Photo: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Harang and Leake both have easy, quick 1-2-3 innings in the sixth.

In the seventh, Harang allows a lead-off walk to Bruce. That’s Harang’s first walk of the game, but he retires the next three Reds to end the inning on a scoreless note.

Another fast 5-pitch inning for Leake sends the Dodgers back to the dugout. Leake has really settled down after the first inning when he made 30 pitches.

Aaron Harang pitched 7 solid innings, allowing 3 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, and 5 strikeouts on 84 pitches.

Ronald Belisario comes in to relieve Harang for the eighth. Chris Heisey, Zack Cozart, and Drew Stubbs all strikeout against the All-Star worthy reliever! Belisario has made quite the comeback, hasn’t he?

Mike Leake had one bad inning, the first, but that was enough to get the loss. Photo: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Mike Leake pitched 7 innings, allowing 6 hits, 3 runs, no walks, and 5 strikeouts on 86 pitches.

The Dodgers add an insurance run in the eighth but lose Dee Gordon in the process. Lefty Bill Bray comes out of the Cincinnati pen to relieve Mike Leake. Gordon draws a lead-off walk. With Cruz at the plate, Dee Gordon steals both second and third for his 29th and 30th bases of the season. Cruz meanwhile draws a walk. Gordon immediately leaves the field after he slides into third with an apparent injury to his hand. Mark Ellis takes over at third base as a pinch-runner. It’s  his first appearance back since May 18th. The Reds go to the pen again and bring in Jose Arredondo. Rivera reaches on a fielder’s choice as Mark Ellis is caught in a rundown between third and home. Rivera and Cruz end up at second and third on the play. They intentionally walk Loney to load up the bases with one out for Adam Kennedy. Kennedy’s sacrifice fly allows Cruz to score, and the Dodgers lead 4-1. Scott Van Slyke strikes out to end the inning.

Kenley Jansen whiffs Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips in the top of the ninth inning. Bruce’s fly ball is the final out, and the Dodgers win! It only took Jansen 8 pitches to shut down the Reds in the ninth.

The Dodgers improve to 46-37, and they regain their rightful place in the standings-first place. Since the Giants lost earlier in the day, the Dodgers are now 1/2 game ahead of San Francisco.

The Dodgers now will leave for Arizona for a four-game series against the Diamondbacks before the All-Star break. Tomorrow’s 6:40 pm game will feature Nathan Eovaldi versus Wade Miley.