The Cincinnati Reds brought their bats to Chavez Ravine as they scored ten runs on seven extra base hits to pummel the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-3 on Thursday night.
The Reds (51-62) finally got their shot at former starter Mat Latos (4-9) who had made negative comments about the Cincinnati organization after being traded to Miami for Anthony DeSclafani. Latos had avoided the Reds in both series with the Marlins, but couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning with his new team. Keyvius Sampson (2-1) did enough to win in the five innings of work for his second straight victory.
Sampson was able to work out of a second and third jam during the first inning, but Latos was unable to wiggle off the hook in his first sign of trouble in the third. Tucker Barnhart hit the first of five Reds doubles and then scored on the first of Billy Hamilton’s four hits. The speedy Hamilton caught the attention of Latos, but his pick-off throw was off line and Hamilton scurried to third. That set up an RBI single by Brandon Phillips to put the Reds up 2-0.
The Dodgers (64-51) thought they had an answer in the bottom of the inning when Kike Hernadez walked and then Adrian Gonzalez singled to put runners on the corners for Andre Ethier. Instead Eugenio Suarez made a fine defensive play to turn an inning ending 6-3 double play.
Todd Frazier led the fourth inning off with a double to the left field gap and was able to swipe third base. Two batters later Marlon Byrd plated Frazier on a sacrifice fly as he scored just ahead of the throw by right fielder Yasiel Puig. Frazier’s fellow Home Run Derby finalist, Joc Pederson, cracked his 22nd home run, tops among rookies, to get L.A. on the board.
With one out in the fifth inning Hamilton singled and stole second, as the Dodgers elected to challenge the safe call, but the play was confirmed. That opened the flood gates against Latos as Phillips and Suarez smacked back-to-back doubles and the Reds were up four. After intentionally walking Joey Votto and striking out Frazier, Latos was replaced by Luis Avilan to face the lefty Jay Bruce. Avilan was successful in stopping the threat with a punch out of Bruce.
Justin Turner, who came in during a double switch, started the bottom of the inning with a single and then a missed double play ball kept him on the base paths with one out. After a Hernandez single moved Turner to third, the Dodger infielder came home on a sacrifice fly by Gonzalez. Sampson was able to hang in there and retired Ethier on a fly ball to end the frame.
After Avilan struck out Byrd to start the sixth, the Reds made their move for more runs. Barnhart walked and then Jason Bourgeois and Hamilton each singled to load the bases for Phillips. He was able to score Barnart, but the Dodgers should have been out of the inning, but new pitcher Pedro Baez fumbled the ground ball back to the mound and had to settle for the out at first. This proved costly as Suarez followed with a three run homer to pad the Cincinnati lead at 9-2.
Ryan Mattheus ran into some trouble in the bottom of the inning as Puig reached on an infield single, but moved to second on an uncharacteristic error by Phillips. Carl Crawford, who came in during another Dodger double switch, singled Puig over to third. Pederson sent a fly ball to Byrd for the first out, but Puig’s head first slide beat the throw and tag to cut the lead to six. Crawford followed with a stolen base, but Mattheus settled in and retired the next two hitters.
Jim Johnson and Burke Badenhop each had choppy seventh innings for their respective teams, but did not yield a run. The same could not be said for J.P. Howell who gave up the fourth home run of the year to Hamilton. Suarez added a double and Votto singled to chase Howell for Yimi Garcia, who escaped the jam thanks to a fine defensive play by Jimmy Rollins and Gonzalez to end the inning.
Manny Parra tossed a scoreless eighth while Pedro Villarreal had a more adventurous ninth, but did not allow the Dodgers to score to seal the victory at 10-3.
Cincinnati goes for three straight wins on its West Coast tour, but it will have to come in the MLB debut of John Lamb. He replaces Michael Lorenzen in the rotation after the Reds rookie was knocked around for seven runs in less than two innings of work on Tuesday. Lamb, who came over in the Johnny Cueto trade from the Royals, will face Alex Wood (7-7, 3.72 ERA) who’s looking for his first win since being acquired from the Braves before the trade deadline. First pitch is set for 10:10 p.m.