Van Slyke Sets Career High With Four Runs Batted In, Dodgers Turn Three Key Double Plays To Top Cincy


The Dodgers have always played well at Great American Ball Park. They’ve always hit well there too. They seem to just do better on the road in general. They don’t really suck until they come home. Perhaps they feel less pressure on the road versus at home? Maybe they see the ball better?

Dodgers 6 10 0

Reds        2 7  1



HR-Van Slyke-5-6-Ludwick-5

Whatever it is, the Dodgers are usually alright away from Chavez Ravine. On Monday evening the Dodgers won the opening game of their three game series over the Reds 6-2. Scott Van Slyke was the hero of the night, slugging two home runs and driving in a career high four runs batted in.

Double Play # 1

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to believe the Dodgers are winning games with the lineups they’ve been putting out. Yasiel Puig and Dee Gordon appear to be ok. Andre Ethier is still nursing a sore back. Jamie Romak for some reason was put at first base tonight. I didn’t even know he could play first base. But he did for the slumping Gonzo. That’s Baseball for you. No way to predict it.

Dodger starter Dan Haren was shaky again, but effective enough to not let things get out of hand. Haren allowed two earned runs on five hits over 5.1 innings. He walked two and whiffed two. But it was the Dodger bullpen that held the Cincinnati bats quiet the rest of the way.

The Dodger bats battered Tony Cingrani for six runs on seven hits over 4.2 frames. Cingrani whiffed five but walked three. He had a bad day, and Scott van Slyke and company really punished him.

The Dodgers scored one run in the second, two in the fourth, and three in the fifth.  They took their 1-0 lead on the first of Van Slyke’s two bombs in the second. The club took a 3-1 lead in the fourth when Kemp doubled, and went to third on a wild pitch. Van Slyke walked, and Justin Turner’s RBI single scored Kemp to put the Dodgers up 2-1. A Tim Federowicz sacrifice fly plated the third run. Cincinnati tied it in the bottom of the second, and then closed the gap to within a run in the bottom of the fourth.

In the second with two outs, Byran Pena’s long drive to left was reviewed and ruled to be foul. They thought it had hit the foul pole. Then he singles, and Zack Cozart singles. There’s an intentional walk to Lutz, and then two wild pitches that cost the Dodgers a run.

Double Play # 2

Ryan Ludwick’s solo home run in the fourth got the Reds close. That made it a 3-2 score. But the Dodgers scored three unanswered runs in the top of the fifth. After Chone Figgins grounded out, and Hanley whiffed, Puig and Kemp both drew walks. There was an errant pick-off throw by Cingrani, and then Van Slyke launched his second home run to put the Dodgers up for good 6-2.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Rough day for Cingrani- David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Double Play # 3

Van Slyke was 3 for 4 with the two home runs, a single, and a walk. His first blast measured 448 feet. And his second home run measured something in the range of 462 feet. The Dodgers have certainly used the home run a lot this year.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sport

The Dodger defense turned not one, not two, but three key double plays in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to preserve their lead. After a walk to Jay Bruce, and a single from Ludwick, left hander J.P. Howell came in and got Pena to GIDP.

Then Howell gets another one in the seventh, With one out, Ramon Santiago singled, and Chris Heisey walked. But Howell gets speedster Billy Hamilton to ground into the 5-4-3 double play.

Then in the eighth, Brandon League gave us all more angita by issuing two walks and a single to Phllips to load the bases with none out. But League got Ludwick to tap into the 1-2-3 double play, and Pena grounded out.

Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth to record the victory. Dodgers over the Reds 6-2.

It’s great to see the club pick up a couple of wins here. If they could do this at home then maybe this season might not be a total waste.

The series continues tomorrow in game two. Josh Beckett will duel Mike Leake Tuesday evening at 4:10 PM.