LOS ANGELES -- Billy Hamilton was 4-for-4 with a home run as the Reds drubbed the Dodgers, 10-3, at Dodger Stadium on Thursday night. The Reds have won back-to-back games after dropping six of their last eight entering the series opener.
"When you're struggling, it's hard to keep that confidence going," said Hamilton, who came in batting .222 this season with a .269 on-base percentage . "Today was one of those days I can look back on and say 'I can hit,' and that gets my confidence up. It was a good day for me."
Brandon Phillips and Eugenio Suarez combined for seven RBIs to pace the Cincinnati offense. Suarez, who was 3-for-5 with two doubles, hit a three-run homer to cap a four-run sixth inning and put the game out of reach. Cincinnati was 7-for-14 with runners in scoring position. The Reds used a balanced attack, scoring in four straight innings at one point. Keyvius Sampson (2-1) earned the win for the Reds by allowing two runs in five innings, while striking out three.
The Dodgers' starter, Mat Latos, was roughed up in his first start facing his former team since being traded in the winter. Latos (4-9), who was on the Reds from 2012-14, lasted 4 2/3 innings while allowing seven hits and five runs, four of which were earned. In three starts with the Dodgers, Latos has allowed 12 runs in 14 2/3 innings for a 7.36 ERA.
"Obviously it's not what we envisioned," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "The first couple innings were OK, and then it kind of unraveled a little bit."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Hamilton makes things happen:Tucker Barnhart led off the Reds' third inning with a double slashed to left field and after a Sampson sacrifice, scored on Hamilton's slapped single to left field. A key play followed when Latos fired an errant pickoff throw to first base, allowing Hamilton to advance all the way to third base. That enabled Cincinnati to take a 2-0 lead on Phillips' single. More >
Baez bobble proves costly: Brought in with the bases loaded and one out, Pedro Baez had a chance to get out of the jam with no runs, but it slipped through his fingers. Phillips hit a slow roller to Baez on the mound, but the reliever bobbled it, ruining any chance of getting the lead runner and a potential double play. The next hitter, Suarez, blasted a 2-2 changeup into the stands to break the game open and give the Reds a 9-2 lead.
Suarez was glovin' it: The Dodgers threatened Sampson with runners on first and third and one out in the third inning when the gap was still only two runs. Andre Ethier scorched a hard grounder left of second base. Suarez made a nice backhanded stop as he spun down on one knee to turn the inning-ending double play. It saved a run from scoring and prevented a rally from taking shape. More >
"He hit it so hard," Suarez said. "My reaction was to stay on the ball and I caught it. After that, I made the double play. It's not an easy play but I made it. I'm happy."
Joc homers: One bright spot for the Dodgers was Joc Pederson. The rookie hit an opposite field solo home run in the fourth inning to get the Dodgers on the board. The homer, his 22nd of the season, was Pederson's first since July 25 and only his third home run since the beginning of July.
"Joc's power hasn't gone anywhere, we just have to make better contact," Mattingly said.
"Who cares. Turn the page, it's done and over with. I have to worry about what I have to worry about here." -- Latos on facing his former team
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
When Phillips was caught stealing in the top of the first inning, it snapped a Reds' team streak of 18 consecutive stolen bases. The last caught stealing for Cincinnati was July 25, at Colorado.
UNDER FURTHER REVIEW
In the top of the fifth, the Dodgers challenged the call on the field that Hamilton was safe after stealing second base. After a 3 minute, three second review, the call on the field stood as called. The Dodgers are now 10-for-30 on replay reviews this season.
WHAT'S NEXT Reds: Friday's game at 10:10 p.m. ET will mark the Major League debut of John Lamb, who has been called up from Triple-A Louisville to face the Dodgers. Lamb, who was 10-2 with a 2.67 ERA in 20 Triple-A starts, was part of the July 26 trade that sent ace Johnny Cueto to the Royals.
Dodgers:Alex Wood will make his first career start against the Reds in the second game of a four-game set at Dodger Stadium. The 24-year-old has been inconsistent in his first two starts with Los Angeles, posting a 0-1 record with a 5.56 ERA since being traded from the Braves at the trade deadline.
Steve Bourbon is an associate reporter for MLB.com.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.