Hanley Ramirez was once again absent from the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup Thursday as the team wrapped up their seven-game road trip.
Despite missing the threat Ramirez can pose, the Dodgers jumped on Cincinnati Reds starter Alfredo Simon early. Justin Turner got it started with a one-out single to left field and Yasiel Puig followed with a single to right. After Adrian Gonzalez lined out, Matt Kemp gave the Dodgers the lead with an RBI single to center.
The one-run lead wouldn’t last long as Zack Greinke allowed a single to Skip Schumaker and a two-run home run to Todd Frazier before he could record an out. Joey Votto put more pressure on Greinke with a double, but the right-hander was able to escape the inning without allowing another run, benefitting from a play at first base where Brandon Phillips was initially ruled safe, but was overturned.
Miguel Rojas singled with one out in the second inning, but was left stranded after Greinke couldn’t get a sac-bunt down and struck out, which was followed by a Dee Gordon ground out to end the inning. Greinke picked up two strikeouts in the bottom of the second as he retired the side in order.
Votto hit a two-out single in the third, but was stranded as the Reds led 2-1 through three innings. The Dodgers wouldn’t get another hit off Simon until the seventh inning, when they had a golden opportunity to tie the game. Kemp and Ethier both singled to put runners on the corners with no outs.
Tim Federowicz hit a shallow fly ball to right for the first out, which didn’t allow either runner to advance. Rojas hit a grounder to Frazier, who threw home and caught Kemp in a run down for the second out. Scott Van Slyke pinch-hit for Greinke and finished the frustrating inning by striking out.
J.P. Howell pitched the bottom of the seventh and retired the Reds in order to keep the Dodgers within one run. Turner hit his second single of the game in the eighth inning, but the Dodgers were again unable to cash in and continued to trail.
With Brandon League on the mound, Zack Cozart hit a leadoff double in the eighth, took third on a sac-bunt and scored on a wild pitch. Schumaker hit a one-out double and after a ground out, Votto was intentionally walked. Ryan Ludwick pinch-hit for Phillips and extended the Reds’ lead to 4-1 with an RBI single.
Aroldis Chapman walked Kemp to open the ninth and allowed a one-out single to Federowciz that put runners on the corners for Rojans. Chapman then retired the next two batters and the Dodgers finished 4-3 on their seven-game road trip.
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