Zack Greinke shutdown the Reds, 1-0, on Thursday afternoon at Great American Ballpark to help the Dodgers earn the three game sweep of Cincinnati.
Greinke (14-3) continued his quest for another Cy Young as he tossed seven innings of shutout baseball to lower his ERA to 1.61 on the season.This season in 14 innings, Greinke allowed just one run when the facing the Reds (52-74). Anthony DeSclafani (7-10) was matched up with Greinke in both contests and allowed just three runs in his 13 innings against the Dodgers (70-56). Los Angeles claimed the season series easily having won the last six of the seven meetings.
DeSclafani was the victim of one bad inning, but against one of baseball’s best pitchers, it was enough to do him in. The Dodgers opened the second inning with three straight singles to load the bases. Yasmani Grandal bounced into a 4-6-3 double play, but Justin Turner came in to score the games only run. DeSclafani escaped further damage by retiring Joc Pederson to end the frame.
In the third inning the Reds had two on for Todd Frazier, but he was bested by Greinke, who struck him out to end the inning. In the fifth inning, Jay Bruce walked and then stole second before moving to third on a single by Tucker Barnhart. DeSclafani botched a bunt attempt and then Skip Schumaker struck out to halt the Reds best scoring chance.
The Dodgers tried to build on their lead in the eighth against J.J. Hoover after he loaded the bases when he hit Chase Utley. Hoover kept the Reds within one by getting Scott Van Slyke, who entered the game in the fourth for the injured Adrian Gonzalez, bounced into an inning ending double play. In the bottom of the frame, Frazier sent a long fly ball to the warning track against Chris Hatcher, but Andre Ethier was there to pull it in for the second out of the inning.
Aroldis Chapman came on to keep the game close in the ninth, but with the aid of a Brandon Phillips error, he loaded the bases with no outs. Chapman struck out Grandal and then retired the next two hitters on pop outs to third. Jim Johnson had a much easier ninth as he set the Reds down in order for his tenth save of the season.
The Reds finished 1-9 in their ten game stretch of home games, with the lone victory coming in Monday’s offensive explosion against the Tigers. Cincinnati has also lost 12 of its last 13 which has the Reds heading in the wrong direction. Cincinnati is trying to avoid its first 100 loss season since 1982, but a 6-19 record since the trade deadline isn’t helping. One thing Reds fans should be able to count on is that Bryan Price will be seeing the club through the end of the season. Price is under contract through 2016, but is 128-160 in his first two seasons as the Reds skipper, a tenure marred by injuries to key players.
Cincinnati now hits the road for the next six games starting in Milwaukee (53-74) on Friday. The two teams will be battling to stay out of the basement of the NL Central as the Brewers are currently a half game ahead of the Reds, but have lost four straight.
Raisel Iglesias (3-5, 3.93 ERA) looks to build off his 13 strikeout performance on Sunday while the Brewers counter with Taylor Jungmann (7-5, 2.66 ERA) who had the worst outing of his young career in his last start against Washington. Jungmann won his first career start against the Reds on July 5 in which he allowed one run in eight innings. This will be the first time that Iglesias has seen this NL Central opponent having appeared once against the other three teams in the division. First pitch is set for 8:10 p.m.