Zack Greinke threw six strong innings but the combination of Reds starter Alfredo Simon and a lack of clutch hitting by his guys led to a 4-1 Dodgers loss Sunday at Great American Ball Park.
L.A. got on the board first, something they haven’t done much of all season, when Matt Kemp singled home Justin Turner to put the Dodgers up, 1-0, in the top of the first inning.
But, for all intents and purposes the game was decided after the first two batters in the bottom of the first. Skip Schumaker singled to lead off. Todd Frazier then hit a two-run homer, his 14th on the year, to right field on a Greinke slider and, ho-hum, the Reds were up, 2-1.
“Skip did what he could with the pitch that I gave him and got a hit. And, a first pitch slider (to Frazier) in the bottom of the zone, you’ll take your chances but he’s a strong guy and got a homer out of it,” Greinke said after the game.
Joey Votto followed with a double but after that Zack Greinke became Zack Greinke, retiring 17 of the next 18 batters.
The two runs were all the right-hander allowed. He gave up a total of four hits, he also walked one and struck out three, but took the loss and saw his record fall to 8-3.
The Dodgers had their chances but couldn’t muster the hits with runners in scoring position.
In the seventh, they could've at least tied the game, with runners on first and third and zero outs. But, Tim Federowicz hit a duck fart fly ball out to right. Miguel Rojas grounded to third, which ended with Kemp getting tagged out in a pickle, and pinch-hitter Scott Van Slyke struck waved at a slider to strike out and end the rally.
The Reds put the game out of reach in the bottom of the eighth scoring two runs on Dodgers reliever Brandon League to take a 4-1 lead.
In the ninth, missile-thrower Aroldis Chapman, whose fastball this season has averaged 100.6 MPH, according to Brooks Baseball, came in to close it out, but the Dodgers, again, had the makings of a threat. Matt Kemp led off with a walk. After Andre Ethier struck out, Federowicz singled to left. But, with runners on first and third, again, Rojas would strike out on a 92 MPH slider in the dirt, and Jamie Romak became another pinch-hitting casualty when he swung through a 101 MPH fastball, which I don’t think he actually saw, for the strike out. Rally, and game, over.
Chapman picked up his 10th save.
Simon was superb for the Reds. He tossed eight innings, scattered seven hits, gave up one run and struck out five to pick up his ninth win. He’s now tied with Adam Wainwright for the most victories in the N.L.
With the loss, the Dodgers finished their seven-game road trip 4-3.