After the woes of the past week and the five-game losing streak, the Los Angeles Dodgers seemed to have turned the corner, as the team won the first two games of the series against the Cincinnati Reds. On Thursday, the teams got off to an early game on getaway day as the Dodgers went for the series sweep before heading back to Chavez Ravine.
The Dodger offense went quietly in the first inning, setting up the stage for Zack Greinke’s 26th start of the season. The pitcher had his winning streak snapped in his previous start against the Houston Astros, so a quality outing on Thursday would turn the pace back into his favor. The pitcher quickly retired the first three batters in order to start off the afternoon.
The top of the second inning started off on the correct note for the Dodgers. Justin Turner belted a single past the diving shortstop, followed by a clean single to center field by Andre Ethier. Yasiel Puig hit a bullet to right field that was hit so hard, third base coach Ron Roenicke held Turner at third to load the bases. Puig extended his hitting streak to ten games, six short of his career high. Following the onslaught of singles was Yasmani Grandal, getting his first at-bat in about five games. The catcher grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, but a run scored to make it 1-0. With a runner on third, Joc Pederson grounded out to second baseman Brandon Phillips to end the scoring threat, marking the second consecutive day the Dodgers scored a run in the second inning.
Greinke pitched another perfect inning, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead after two innings.
The Dodgers starter then led off the top of the third inning with a strikeout on three pitches; however, Rollins and Utley both would hit singles to bring up Adrian Gonzalez and Turner. The threat would be wasted as Gonzalez and Turner recorded outs to end their chances.
The bottom of the third inning provided the Reds with their first scoring opportunity. With one out, catcher Tucker Barnhart singled past a diving Rollins. After opposing pitcher Anthony DeSclafani failed to bunt over Barnhart to second, former Dodger Skip Schumaker singled to left field, putting the first runner in scoring position for the Reds. Greinke managed to escape the inning untouched as he struck out Todd Frazier on a 94-MPH fastball that sailed away from the batter.
The Dodgers also went down quietly in the top of the fifth inning, marking the first time the team didn’t record a hit since the first inning. Scott Van Slyke entered the game as a defensive substitution for Gonzalez, who fouled a ball off of his leg and left the game with a right knee contusion.
CONTINUE READING: The Dodgers offense can’t score, but the bullpen shuts the door.