Reds cruise past jetlagged Dodgers

Jon Gold, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers needed extra innings against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night to extend their road winning streak to 10 games, their best since moving from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958.
However, the victory took its toll.
The Cincinnati Reds jumped on a jetlagged Dodger squad to douse the hottest team in baseball with a 5-2 win Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.
After a last-strike, ninth-inning rally and a five-run 10th inning against the Blue Jays in an 8-3 win Wednesday, the Dodgers didn't arrive home until 4 a.m., with customs from the international trip delaying the players' sleep another hour.
It showed.
The Reds built a 4-1 lead behind a pair of home runs off Zack Greinke and went on to win for the fourth time in five games on their West Coast road trip.
"We're not the only team getting those (East Coast to West Coast turnarounds)," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We can complain about it, but there are a lot of teams who do the same thing we do."
Los Angeles entered the game winners of six straight overall and 23 of 28, the league's hottest team since early June.
Mat Latos made sure the Dodgers' streak wouldn't hit seven.
Latos (10-3) scattered eight hits in 7 2/3 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) while striking out four.
"I felt pretty good today," Latos said. "I was able to work the fastball in pretty well. That's a good team, with good pitching and good defense, but we won today.
Added Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker: "He was throwing good; he was throwing downhill. His fastball looked like it was going to stay up in the zone, but he had a really good breaking ball."
Manny Parra got the last out in the eighth inning, and Aroldis Chapman pitched around a hit, a walk and a wild pitch in the ninth for his 24th save.
Greinke (8-3) allowed six hits and four runs in seven innings in his worst start since July 3, decimated by poor control. Only 64 of his 104 pitches went for strikes, although he issued just one walk.
"I don't know what his percentages are in terms of control, but we have a team that does go out of the zone a little bit," said Reds right fielder Jay Bruce, who homered off Greinke. "Maybe that was a game plan of his. (Dodgers catcher) A.J. Ellis knows what he's doing back there and so does Zack, so maybe he was trying to go out a little more."
Shin-Soo Choo, Joey Votto and Todd Frazier each had two hits for Cincinnati, which ranks second behind Los Angeles in hits and runs since the All-Star break.
Cincinnati poked at Greinke for much of the early going, claiming a 4-1 lead.
After the Reds carried a 2-1 lead into the sixth inning, Bruce provided some extra cushion with his 21st home run of the season, a two-run shot that scored Brandon Phillips.
"He's a very good pitcher with a lot of weapons," Bruce said. "You wait for something you can handle. Take advantage of mistakes, of opportunities you have, and we did that tonight."
Los Angeles trimmed a 2-0 in the fourth inning on an Adrian Gonzalez RBI groundout that scored Yasiel Puig.
Cincinnati went ahead with a first-inning home run by former Dodger Xavier Paul and a second-inning Cesar Izturis RBI single.
Despite the loss, Mattingly was comforted by the fact that Los Angeles has propelled itself back into the postseason mix.
"Before the break, we were talking about getting back in the race; all of a sudden we're in the race for sure and there's going to be one," Mattingly said. "There are going to be a lot of big games as we go down the stretch through July and August."
Now if the Dodgers can just wake up in time.
NOTES: The Dodgers designated LHP Ted Lilly for assignment, recalling INF Elian Herrera from Triple-A Albuquerque. Lilly was 0-2 with a 5.09 ERA in 23 innings this season before being activated from the disabled list Wednesday. He was plagued by injuries throughout the year and was at odds with the organization regarding his handling before his departure. ... Cincinnati SS Zack Cozart appears ready to return from sore hip that has bothered him since Tuesday. He did not play Thursday but could play Friday. ... Reds LF Ryan Ludwick, who started a rehab assignment for Class A Dayton on Wednesday, is 1-for-3 with two walks through two minor league games. He's been out since injuring his right shoulder on Opening Day. ... Votto and Choo rank first and second in the league in walks. They are vying to become the first teammates to finish first and second since the San Francisco Giants' Will Clark and Brett Butler did so in 1988.

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