Max Scherzer pitched seven shutout innings in another dominant performance for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who kept up their push in the NL West with a 5-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.
The Dodgers began the day two games behind division-leading San Francisco.
It was another tough loss for the Reds, who came in one game behind St. Louis for the second NL wild-card spot.
Scherzer (15-4) improved to 7-0 in nine starts since being traded from Washington to the Dodgers on July 30. He allowed just two hits and struck out seven.
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The three-time Cy Young Award winner leads the majors with a combined 2.08 ERA. He's been brilliant for the Dodgers with an 0.78 ERA in his starts for them.
Just about the only thing Scherzer hasn't done for the Dodgers is deliver at the plate. A good-hitting pitcher for nearly his entire career, he is now 0 for 55 overall this season — not safely reaching base once — after going hitless in three at-bats.
Sonny Gray (7-8) retired the first 11 batters he faced before Trea Turner's infield single in the fourth, but then the Reds defense let him down.
The Dodgers took advantage of two Reds errors to score three times in the fifth, breaking open a scoreless game. Gavin Lux tripled for the fourth time this season, driving in two of the runs.
Mookie Betts added an RBI single for the Dodgers in the ninth.
The Reds were one out away from being shut out when a throwing error by shortstop Corey Seager gave them a run. Kenley Jansen relieved and got the last out for his 34th save.
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The game was delayed several minutes in the middle of the fourth inning when home plate umpire Brian O'Nora left the game due to illness. Second base umpire and crew chief Fieldin Culbreth took over behind the plate and the game continued with three umpires.
Dodgers: Cody Bellinger was out of the lineup due to soreness from a non-displaced fracture in his left rib cage, suffered in a collision with 2B Lux on Monday. Bellinger is expected to return for Sunday's series finale.
Reds: OF Jesse Winker who injured himself on a swing in his first game back from the injured list on Friday, is back on the 10-day IL with an intercostal strain. Outfielder Shogo Akiyama also was placed on the IL with a right hamstring strain.
Clayton Kershaw (9-7, 3.33 ERA) will be opposed by Wade Miley (12-6, 3.09 ERA) in Sunday's series finale.