Shortstop Felipe Lopez, whose error led to three unearned runs in the first inning, drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Griffey ignited the Reds’ comeback in the sixth with his 23rd homer, a solo shot that raised his career total to 524. He had one homer in 82 at-bats during April, after coming back from season-ending surgery on his torn right hamstring last August.
Freel broke the team stolen base record, which happened seven times—most recently by Deion Sanders in 1997 against Atlanta. Freel’s last two steals against catcher Jason Phillips set up the winning run after he was walked with one out in the ninth by Yhency Brazoban.
Freel leads Cincinnati with 28 stolen bases in 34 attempts. Freel, who plays the infield and outfield, is batting .375 (9-for-24) with seven stolen bases in six games since being activated from the 15-day disabled list on July 21.
Wednesday’s collapse was the latest loss for the struggling Dodgers. Los Angeles has gone 9-14 in July to fall nine games below .500.
The first place San Diego Padres have also struggled, losing eight of nine, leaving the Dodgers only five games back in the NL West.
Los Angeles will have rookie right-hander D.J. Houlton on the mound against the resilient Reds in Thursday’s series finale.
The 25-year-old Houlton failed to qualify for a decision as Los Angeles suffered a 7-5 loss to the New York Mets on Saturday. Houlton gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings.
Houlton is 0-2 with a 6.27 ERA in four appearances this month, including three starts.