By Mark Sheldon and Ken Gurnick
MLB.com |@kengurnick |
CINCINNATI -- Zack Greinke fired a four-hitter for seven scoreless innings to outduel Anthony DeSclafani as the Dodgers edged the Reds on Thursday afternoon, 1-0, for their first series sweep at Great American Ball Park since 2008.
The Reds have lost 12 of 13, while the Dodgers had lost the first five games of the trip in Oakland and Houston before the three-game sweep. The win left the first-place Dodgers 2 1/2 games ahead of the Giants, who beat the Cubs, 9-1.
"It was looking bad for a little bit," Greinke said of the trip. "We still hoped to do better, but we're still in first, that's important."
Greinke struck out nine, raised his record to 14-3 and lowered his MLB-leading ERA to 1.61. This was his 10th scoreless start of at least six innings this year, matching Don Sutton and Clayton Kershaw for second-most in Dodgers history behind Sandy Koufax (12 in 1963). He's 7-2 lifetime against the Reds, 4-1 at GABP and has won nine of his past 10 decisions.
DeSclafani just about matched Greinke. The only run he allowed scored on Yasmani Grandal's second-inning double-play bouncer that followed singles by Justin Turner, Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig. DeSclafani (7-10) allowed six hits (three by Ethier) over seven innings.
Reds pitchers induced five double-play grounders, tying a Dodgers record, three of them by Grandal. The Dodgers also left the bases loaded twice.
"Both times I've gone against him, I've known I have to put my best out there and limit them to the fewest runs possible," said DeSclafani, who lost a 2-1 duel to Greinke on Aug. 16 at Dodger Stadium. "It's tough to go against, he's the best pitcher in the league. You've got to limit the damage."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Streaking Puig injured: Puig extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a second-inning single, the third in a row that inning for the Dodgers and they needed each one just to scratch out one run on Grandal's double-play grounder. In the ninth, Puig reinjured his right hamstring and left the game. He said it was worse than the original injury he suffered Aug. 18. More >
Greinke grinds out a zero: Tucker Barnhart had two singles vs. Greinke and his second hit put runners on the corners with one out in the fifth. The Reds came up empty, however, when DeSclafani bunted foul for strike three and Skip Schumaker had a 2-1 count before eventually striking out on a curveball. Schumaker slammed his bat to the ground in frustration. More >
Adrian OK after fouling ball off knee: In the third, Adrian Gonzalez fouled a pitch off his right knee, but stayed in the game. He exited in the fifth as a precaution and said he'd be ready to play Friday. More >
Snow-cone: Puig got fooled by the wind on a fly ball down the right-field line off the bat of Brandon Phillips with one out and a runner on first in the sixth. He circled under it and had to reach for the ball, barely grabbing it with the webbing of his glove for the second out.
"He was terrific. Second time against the Dodgers in just over a couple of weeks there. He pitched great. He really did. He went right after them. He gave up three runs over the two games he pitched against them. He was always on the attack. I'm really proud of the way he handled himself out there today." -- Reds manager Bryan Price, on DeSclafani
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The last time the Reds turned five double plays in one game was April 8, 2003, at Houston. The club record in one game is six, done twice, with the last time being May 1, 1955, in a 16-inning game vs. the New York Giants. The last time they got an opponent to ground into five double plays was July 20, 1991, at Pittsburgh, a club record they've now established seven times, including Thursday.
WHAT'S NEXT Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw makes his first start since calling out his teammates for not playing with a sense of urgency. In his past nine starts, he is 5-0 with a 0.90 ERA. Friday's 7:10 p.m. PT game against the Cubs also starts a six-game homestand.
Reds: A six-game road trip begins Friday at 8:10 p.m. ET with a three-game series opener vs. the Brewers. Cincinnati and Milwaukee are both trying to avoid finishing at the bottom of the National League Central. Raisel Iglesias will start for the Reds after he struck out 13 over seven innings during a 4-0 loss to Arizona on Sunday.