Kevin Brown won for the first time in seven starts as the Dodgers beat the Reds 5-2 Tuesday in the opener of their three-game series.
The victory was the second straight for the Dodgers, who had dropped 11 of their previous 14 games since winning their last game before the All-Star break and their first two following it.
“The guys are doing everything they can to turn things around,” Brown said. “The key is, we still have to play hard every day.”
In their first game since George Hendrick replaced Jack Clark as hitting coach, the Dodgers had a three-run inning. Clark was fired Monday as Los Angeles averaged fewer than 3 1/2 runs per game and ranked last in the National League in most hitting categories.
“I don’t expect miracles, I can tell you that,” manager Jim Tracy said. “I don’t expect (Hendrick) to be a savior. Is this going to make a huge difference? I don’t know the answer. But if nothing had been done at all, and we were to remain offensively the way we’ve been for 110 games, then we wouldn’t know anything.”
The Reds lost for just the third time in 10 games. They had been 5-1 at Dodger Stadium over the last two seasons.
Cincinnati will need to win the final two games of the series to win its fifth consecutive series. The Reds haven’t won five series in a row since taking nine straight from July 23-Aug. 22, 1999.
STANDINGS: Reds - 5th place, 9 GB, NL Central. Dodgers - 3rd place, 13 GB, NL West.
REDS PROBABLE STARTER: Jose Acevedo (2-0, 2.63 ERA). Acevedo makes his fourth start. The right-hander yielded four runs in seven innings of the Reds’ 5-4, 10-inning victory over Colorado last Thursday. Cincinnati improved to 3-0 in Acevedo’s starts and has scored 24 runs in those games. He did not receive a decision in his lone career start against Los Angeles.
DODGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Odalis Perez (6-9, 4.70 ERA). Perez is 0-2 with a 7.88 ERA in his last three starts. The left-hander lasted just 4 1-3 innings and surrendered six runs, including two homers, in a 7-3 loss to Philadelphia last Thursday. He is just 2-7 in his last 12 outings. Perez is 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA in three career starts against Cincinnati.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Reds - Sean Casey, .295 avg. and 59 RBIs; Adam Dunn, 26 HRs and 67 runs; Dunn and Felipe Lopez, 8 SBs. Dodgers - Paul Lo Duca, .292 avg.; Jeromy Burnitz, 21 HRs; Shawn Green, 54 RBIs and 56 runs; Dave Roberts, 27 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 2-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Reds - Cincinnati struck out 13 times Tuesday, raising its major league-leading total to 909. Dunn struck out three times, raising his season total to 115. He set a club record last season with 170. … After going two straight games without making an error, the Reds committed one Tuesday for their major league-high 107th. … Despite Tuesday’s loss, the Reds have still won five of their last seven road games. Dodgers - INF Ron Coomer singled as a pinch-hitter Tuesday in his return from the disabled list. He had been out since July 8. … Three relievers pitched 2 1-3 scoreless innings Tuesday. The Dodgers bullpen has allowed only five runs in the last 29 2-3 innings. … LHP Perez has held Cincinnati to a .167 batting average and struck out 17 in 20 2-3 innings in his career.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Reds - 24-30 on the road; Dodgers - 30-25 at home.
INJURIES: Reds - OF Austin Kearns (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Ryan Dempster (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Jimmy Haynes (back), 15-day DL; RHP Scott Sullivan (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Luke Prokopec (elbow), 60-day DL; OF Ken Griffey Jr. (ankle), 60-day DL. Dodgers - C Todd Hundley (back), 15-day DL; 1B Fred McGriff (abductor), 15-day DL; OF Brian Jordan (knee), 15-day DL; LHP Troy Brohawn (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Kazuhisa Ishii (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Darren Dreifort (knee), 60-day DL; LHP Derek Thompson (elbow), 60-day DL.