Adrian Gonzalez blasted a three-run homer in the fifth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers overcame the bat of Joey Votto to defeat the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.
Gonzalez matched the number on the back of his jersey by sending his team leading 23rd homer of the season into the LA skyline as he pointed to the Mexicali little league team as he rounded the bases.
"I told the Mexican little league team from Hermosillo that if I hit a home run I'd point to them," Gonzalez said. "I was happy I was able to hit one for them."
Alex Wood (8-7) made his third start in a Dodger uniform and his first ever against the Cincinnati Reds. The left-hander picked up his first win as a Dodger allowing three runs (all of them to Joey Votto) on five hits in six innings.
"It gives me some confidence to get the first win under my belt," Wood said. "Tonight was the best I've felt of my three starts so far. I want to earn the respect of these guys. Hopefully, tonight is a good step in that direction."
Wood was also making his Dodger Stadium home debut and took a hard grounder off the ankle in the third inning. Wood was able to stay in the game and recorded his first quality start since joining the Dodgers from Atlanta at the trade deadline.
"It's still attached, so that's a good thing," Wood joked after the game. "It's not bad, I'll put a little patch on there hopefully it won't feel any worse in the morning."
Votto was a thorn in Wood's side all game as the southpaw slugger knocked in all three Cincinnati runs with an RBI double in the first inning and a two-run homer in the sixth.
"He's a real smart hitter," Wood said of Votto. "I thought the only two mistakes I made were both to him. He's the wrong guy to make them too."
Votto finished 2-for-4 with a double, three RBIs and a home run. Votto leads the National League in multi-hit games with 40, and is batting .400 with nine doubles, six homers and 15 RBI since the All-Star break.
"They have a good lineup," Dodgers' manager Don Mattingly said. "If you look at that lineup, they got a lot of guys who swing the bat. They're a dangerous group. We didn't want Votto beating us."
John Lamb made his major league debut on Friday after being called up from the minors a day prior. The 25-year-old left-hander was acquired by the Reds from the Royals in the trade that sent Johnny Cueto to the reigning AL pennant winners.
Lamb, who was one of Baseball America's top 100 prospects in 2011, wore Cueto's No 47 jersey on the hill. Lamb allowed five runs on eight hits in six innings but was done in by four consecutive hits with two outs in the fifth inning.
After a leadoff walk by Joc Pederson turned into an atrocious bunt attempt by Wood that resulted in a double play, the Dodgers recorded four consecutive hits, all with two outs.
After singles by Jimmy Rollins, Kiké Hernandez, and Justin Turner, Gonzalez whacked a three-run bomb into the visiting bullpen that gave LA a 5-1 lead.
It was Gonzalez's third home run of the season off a left-handed pitcher, but admitted after the game, he could not have done it without his teammates clutch hitting ahead of him.
"Obviously, they were the reason we one, so it was very important that they did that," Gonzalez said.
Rollins scored two runs and recorded two hits as he hit safely for the eighth time in nine games. The veteran shortstop has been on a tear in the second half of the season, batting .309 with seven doubles, a triple, three home runs and six RBIs since July 22.
Hernandez had three hits for the second consecutive night and raised his batting average to .411 against lefties this season. He's also benefited from the extra playing time at second base with Howie Kendrick on the disabled list with a right hamstring injury.
"I've been an every-day player my whole career, so the more I play, the more I'm going to produce," Hernandez said. "Hopefully I get more at-bats and I keep being consistent."
Justin Turner started at third base for the first time since July 26. Turner was activated from the 15-day DL on Thursday and went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. Turner helped ignite the two-out rally in the fifth inning that broke the game open for the Boys in Blue.
Jim Johnson bounced back after a nightmare outing in Pittsburgh last Sunday resulted in a nine-run seventh inning for the Pirates. Johnson was responsible for eight of those runs and just like he did in that game, the former Braves closer entered into Friday night's contest with the Dodgers leading 5-3.
"Donny's been very good at dialogue between us," said Johnson of the confidence of his manager. "For us to get to where we need to go, I need to be a part of it."
Unlike that game, Johnson worked a perfect top half of the seventh on Friday, getting Jason Bouregois to ground out before striking out Billy Hamilton to end the inning.
"As time goes on I think I'm getting more comfortable," Johnson continued. "Every day I come to this clubhouse I get more comfortable and I think that's a part of it."
Kenley Jansen struck out Todd Frazier and Marlon Byrd to end the game picking up his 23rd save of the season. In the process, Jansen tied Jeff Shaw for second place on the Dodgers all-time saves leaders list with 129.
"I don't pay attention to those accolades, but it did feel good to get another save for us today," Jansen said of moving up the list. "We tried to bounce back tonight and get the win and we did that."
Lamb's grandfather was John Ramsey, the Dodgers' public address announcer from 1958-1984. The 25-year-old Laguna Hills native became the eighth rookie pitcher to start for Cincinnati this season, tying a Reds record.
The Dodgers celebrated the birthday of Owner Earvin "Magic" Johnson with a cake before the game. Johnson is an NBA Hall-of-Famer and turned 56 on Thursday.
The Dodgers activated relief pitcher Chris Hatcher before the game and placed right-hander Juan Nicasio on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique strain.
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