Dodgers 6, Reds 5
LOS ANGELES (AP)—Considering how much time Jason Repko has missed this season, his two-run bloop single must have felt like a line drive off the scoreboard.
“It’s been a while, about three months now, since I’ve really contributed in that way,” said Repko, who was sidelined with an ankle sprain from May 10 through July 23. “Just getting a couple of RBIs there to help out really felt great. It feels good to contribute and help the team win. I know the hit was a bloop, but it was placed pretty good. They find their holes, and you take them when you can get them.”
Russell Martin hit a two-run homer, Andre Ethier also had three hits and Jeff Kent added an RBI double, helping the Dodgers increase their NL West lead to three games over San Diego after a 4-5 road trip.
Cincinnati dropped 3 1/2 games back of St. Louis in the NL Central with its fourth straight loss. The Reds lead the wild-card race, a half-game in front of San Diego and a game in front of Philadelphia.
Brad Penny (14-7) tied a career high for victories after overcoming early control problems and pulled even with Carlos Zambrano and Brandon Webb for the NL lead in wins. He allowed a run and four hits over five innings.
Todd Hollandsworth had three RBIs for Cincinnati, two on an eighth-inning single against Elmer Dessens. Brandon Phillips followed with a two-run homer off converted reliever Brett Tomko that cut the gap to one run.
Tomko then walked David Ross and pinch-hitter Adam Dunn before Jonathan Broxton struck out Scott Hatteberg with runners at second and third. Broxton finished for his third save, throwing a called third strike past Phillips to end the game with two on.
“You certainly don’t quit. But it’s still a hard one to swallow,” Hollandsworth said. “Tonight’s game might help us because we got in their bullpen and scored some runs off them and made them work a little bit. I know they’ve been using a lot of bullets down there—as have we. So if we can pull anything out of this game, hopefully that’s what it is, and maybe it’ll benefit us tomorrow.”
Chris Michalak (1-2) allowed four runs and seven hits in four innings in his Dodger Stadium debut. He spent most of the 2001 season with the Dodgers’ Triple-A team, which at that time was in Albuquerque.
Reds No. 3 hitter Edwin Encarnacion had a chance to drive in a runner from third base each of his first three times up but was retired all three times by Penny—leaving Ken Griffey Jr. in the on-deck circle twice.
“We wore Penny down and made him throw an awful a lot of pitches,” Hollandsworth said. “But we still really didn’t even get to him. I mean, we got the one run off him, but he got out of it.”
Penny threw 61 pitches over the first three innings while giving up all five of his walks. He stranded Ryan Freel at third base in the first, throwing a called third strike past Encarnacion and retiring Griffey on a foul pop. He walked three straight batters with one out in the third, then escaped the jam when shortstop Rafael Furcal turned Encarnacion’s grounder up the middle into a double play.
“I’ve got to do a better job of attacking the strike zone,” Penny said. “I just lost it there for a second. I can’t remember the last time I’ve done that, walking three guys in a row. But the good thing is that they didn’t score.”
Griffey led off the fourth with a double, took third on Rich Aurilia’s bloop single and scored on a groundout by Hollandsworth that trimmed the Dodgers’ lead to 2-1.
Los Angeles made it 4-1 in the bottom half with ground-rule doubles by Nomar Garciaparra and Kent, followed by Ethier’s RBI single. Repko’s two-run single against Todd Coffey made it 6-1 in the seventh.
Martin opened the scoring in the second with his eighth homer.
Monday was the 40th anniversary of the only Beatles concert at Dodger Stadium. Organist Nancy Bea Hefley played plenty of songs recorded by the Fab Four. … The Dodgers reached the 3 million mark in paid attendance for a record 21st time and 11th season in a row. … Hollandsworth started in LF in place of Dunn, who is 1-for-19 against Penny. The only hit was a two-run homer on June 1, 2004, at Miami, when Penny was pitching for Florida.