The Dodgers set a season-high in runs as they hit seven home runs in the finale against the Reds.
The Dodgers exploded on offense and got just enough out of their pitching to take down the Reds. With the Giants off, the Dodgers have a one game lead in the West headed into a three game set in Los Angeles.
Scott Kazmir was gifted a 4-0 lead. So obviously, he walked Billy Hamilton to start the game. Hamilton tagged up on a fly ball to center that only he could tag up on and advanced to third on a groundout. Kazmir had himself out of the first with a routine fly ball to right, but Andrew Toles never really saw the ball and Adam Duvall ended up on third.
Kazmir had issues with leadoff hitters early on, as he allowed doubles to start both the second and third innings. He kept the Reds off the board in the second, but Joey Votto knocked in Jose Peraza in the third. Kazmir lost control at that point, as he walked a batter and got to full counts to the next two. He got Brandon Phillips to fly out, but Scott Schebler hit a jam shot that fell between a few defenders to make it 6-3. Kazmir got a strikeout for the second out, but another jam shot single made it 6-4. Kazmir was pulled with 78 pitches after only 2.2 innings.
Kazmir’s final line wasn’t pretty. Four earned runs is never good, especially if you can’t get out of the third. He had a bit of rotten luck with his first run on a fly ball that Toles should have handled, but he was really laboring in the third. He got weak contact that could have gotten him out of the inning, but they fell and forced him from the game.
Come back soon, Kershaw and Hill.
For the third time in the series, a team hit a three-run home run in the first inning. The Dodgers jumped on Homer Bailey today. Chase Utley hit the first pitch he saw for a single. Corey Seager hit the second pitch he saw for a single. Adrian Gonzalez hit the first pitch he saw a very long way for a three-run bomb.
The homer did not kill the rally, as Yasmani Grandal crushed a ball right at an outfielder. Joc Pederson drew a walk and Howie Kendrick singled him to third. Toles was a late addition to the lineup, but he had a 12-pitch AB, including eight foul balls, and sac flied Pederson home to make it 4-0 before Kazmir even took the mound.
The Dodgers struck again in the third after Pederson hit a rocket off the wall for a single. The Dodgers hit-and-ran with him and Kendrick, who shot a single to put runners on the corners. Toles came up again and cashed in with a single to right-center. Rob Segedin hit a sac fly to make it 6-1, but Kazmir and Utley flew out to end the inning.
The Dodgers blew through the six runs pretty quickly, but while it looked like they were geared to let up the lead, the youngsters took matters into their own bats. Kendrick led off with a walk, which was followed up by Toles’ first career homer. Segedin followed that with his own first career homer to go back-to-back. After an out and a single. Seager hit his 22nd homer, tying him with Glenn Wright for the most by a shortstop in Dodger history. For good measure, Gonzalez hit his second homer of the game for a second set of back-to-back homers in the fifth inning.
For even better measure, Gonzo added a third dinger in the seventh to make it 15-7. Yasmani Grandal followed that up with the Dodgers’ seventh homer and third set of back-to-back jacks.
The Dodgers added on without homers (??) as three straight singles and an RBI groundout made it 18-7. That was all they got, but they finished with 18 runs on 21 hits, seven of which left the park. They didn’t score one run in any inning. They scored zero runs in the second, fourth, sixth and ninth, but had two two-run innings, two four-run innings and a six-run inning.
Jesse Chavez came in in the third for Kazmir and threw one pitch to get out of the inning. He came back for the fourth and struck Billy Hamilton out, but allowed a single and a double to make it 6-5.
After the offensive outburst, the Dodgers got a #shutdowninning out of Grant Dayton. Pedro Baez came in and did not match Dayton, as he allowed an infield single and a triple after Toles’ diving attempt failed. He gave up a sac fly to make it 12-7, and then issued two walks, forcing J.P. Howell into the game. At least Baez didn’t give up a homer?
Howell finished off the sixth in two pitches. He came back out for the seventh and Enrique Hernandez cost him an out with an error to start the inning. Howell walked the next batter, but got the top of the order to keep the score at 16-7.
Bud Norris came in on his usual bullpen session day and gave up a double and a single to make it 18-8. He was checked out by the trainers but stayed in the game, only to walk a batter and be pulled for Josh Fields, who got a lineout to end the inning.
Fields stayed in for the ninth and allowed a single and a double to lead off. Votto grounded out to make it 18-9, but Fields got the final two outs to end the game.
This outburst gave the Dodgers a very nice 69th win of the season. The Dodgers begin a crucial homestand tomorrow with the Giants. Because of this win, they welcome the Giants with a one-game lead in the NL West.
We also had the first look of position player pitching, as outfielder Tyler Holt got the ninth for the Reds. Holt was the only Reds pitcher to appear and not allow a run, as he retired the side on five pitches.