CINCINNATI (AP)—The first low-scoring game at Great American Ball Park turned out just like the others. The visiting team won.
Brian Jordan’s run-scoring single in the eighth inning gave the Los Angeles Dodgers a 2-1 victory Tuesday night over the Cincinnati Reds, who are having trouble winning at home and drawing a crowd to their new ballpark.
Only 19,029 tickets were sold—the smallest gate yet in 10 games at Great American. Fans bundled in blankets on a crisp evening and watched the Reds fall to an NL-worst 6-14 as the Dodgers pulled it out with two clutch hits.
“We did what we had to do to win,” manager Jim Tracy said. “We had some good at-bats in the eighth inning that we weren’t showing a week ago.”
Cesar Izturis tied it with a two-out RBI single in the seventh, and Jordan decided it with another two-out single in the eighth off Paul Wilson (0-2), who got the loss despite one of the best performances by a Reds pitcher all season.
The Reds are last in the NL in pitching, last in defense and second-to-last in hitting.
“Everybody looks at the record and makes a big deal about our record, but we’re not worried about that,” manager Bob Boone said. “We’re worried about putting a game together. I thought we put a good game together tonight.”
For the first time in 10 games and two exhibitions at Great American, neither team hit a homer. The Dodgers were more accustomed to a slog-it-out pace.
Dave Roberts started the go-ahead rally with a leadoff single in the eighth, extending his hitting streak to nine games. Roberts then got his 10th steal, and came around when Jordan singled sharply to right and the ball bounced past charging outfielder Ruben Mateo for an error.
“It’s games like this that we’ve been losing,” Roberts said. “We’ve been losing the one-run ballgames.”
The Dodgers lost four of them in a row from April 10-15, and went eight consecutive games without scoring more than four runs. They broke out with a 16-4 win Sunday in Los Angeles over the Giants, then flew east and left the momentum behind.
“After a day off, it was a little bit of a struggle,” Jordan said. “We still had some jet lag in us, but guys came through. You need a game like that.”
Wilson gave up seven hits and struck out eight in 7 2-3 innings, using a nasty sinker to good effect. He gave up the lead when Jordan reached down and hit a sinker.
“If I’m going to get beat, I’m going to get beat on my best pitch,” Wilson said. “It wasn’t a terribly bad pitch, but he hit it. That’s the way baseball goes. I let it get away.”
The previous lowest-scoring game at Great American was a 5-4 Cubs win on April 6, the day after outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. dislocated his right shoulder.
Paul Shuey (2-1) got the victory in relief of Kazuhisa Ishii, who struck out seven and gave up one run in six innings. Eric Gagne struck out three in a hitless ninth for his fifth save in as many chances.
Aaron Boone drove in the Reds’ run with a first-inning single. Boone returned to his customary position at third base as part of a roster shakeup brought on by the Reds’ worst start since 1997, when they were an identical 6-14.
Bob Boone moved his son to second base in spring training to open a spot at third for Brandon Larson. The switch was one of several grand experiments that haven’t paid off.
Closer Danny Graves has struggled in the rotation, and Larson struggled in the field and at the plate before his demotion on Saturday. Aaron Boone took 50 to 70 grounders at third during an off-day workout, and had no tough playsthere on Tuesday.
Roberts dropped a fly ball for his first error in 222 games in the majors with Cleveland and Los Angeles. … Dodgers reliever Guillermo Mota didn’t get into the game. He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol early Monday morning. … Reds bench coach Ray Knight had surgery for kidney stones Tuesday and will be sidelined until early May. Knight has a history of kidney stone problems, and missed three games as the Reds’ manager because of them in 1996. … Reds 1B Sean Casey singled in his firstat-bat, extending his hitting streak to eight games.