The Los Angeles Dodgers have gone from division leader to third-place team in the span of a week.
The reeling Dodgers look to avoid a season-high fifth straight defeat Tuesday in the opener of a three-game road set against the Cincinnati Reds, a team they haven’t lost to in more than two years.
Los Angeles (58-53) fell 3-0 to Arizona on Sunday and were swept by the first-place Diamondbacks to finish a 1-5 homestand. The Dodgers started the homestand tied with Arizona for the NL West lead, but begin play Tuesday a season-high four games back of the Diamondbacks.
The Dodgers haven’t lost five in a row since dropping eight straight last July.
“No matter where we go, no matter where we play, there’s nowhere to go up but up,” said manager Grady Little, whose team has lost seven of eight and is 5-13 since a five-game win streak from July 8-16.
Facing Cincinnati (47-64) could help the Dodgers end their skid. Los Angeles will be looking for a 10th straight victory over the Reds since a 6-1 loss July 28, 2005.
“We have to figure out ways to win,” Martin told the Dodgers’ official Web site. “We have to start playing good baseball if we want to stay in the race.”
Martin, the starting catcher in last month’s All-Star game, hit .227 (5-for-22) with six strikeouts on the homestand, but is batting .355 (11-for-31) with a homer and six RBIs in nine games against the Reds.
Ethier is 5-for-8 with a homer and two doubles in his last three games, but 1-for-10 against the Reds this season.
Mark Hendrickson (4-5, 4.55 ERA) will try to earn his first win as a starter in almost a month Tuesday for the Dodgers. He allowed three runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings of Los Angeles’ 6-4 victory over San Francisco on Wednesday.
The left-hander’s last winning decision as a starter came in a 9-3 victory over Florida on July 8. He’s 0-0 with a 10.22 ERA in three career starts against the Reds, and allowed four earned runs in 5 2-3 innings of the Dodgers’ 10-5 victory against them May 13.
Cincinnati won 9-8 in 10 innings over Pittsburgh on Saturday to take the first two games of a rain-shortened series with the Pirates. The Reds, who had lost five in a row coming into the series, hit seven homers and scored 22 runs against Pittsburgh.
Cincinnati’s Adam Dunn has homered in three consecutive contests and driven in six runs in his last four games.
“Our team scores close to 50 percent of our runs on home runs,” said infielder Jeff Keppinger, batting .400 (6-for-15) in his last four games. “And we’ve got some big guys that swing the bat, so that’s what they do.”
Bronson Arroyo (4-12, 4.72) is expected to take the ball Tuesday for the Reds after his Sunday start against the Pirates was postponed due to rain.
The right-hander was roughed up in his most recent outing, allowing seven runs in 1 2-3 innings of a 7-2 loss at Washington on Wednesday. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 4.44 ERA in five games - four starts - against the Dodgers, including a 2-0 loss May 11.