The Blue Crew can hit, there’s no doubt about that, and the best statistical offense in major league baseball earned their money last night with 18 hits en route to beating the pants off the Cincinnati Reds, 14-6.
Yes, it was old school Dodger baseball last night as they strung together several rallies throughout the game to give the Reds their seventh loss in the last eight games. Rafael Furcal led the way with four RBI finishing just a home-run shy of the cycle, and Matt Kemp homered in his second-consecutive game (his seventh of the season, all of which have come in the last 10 games) as the Dodgers won again despite giving up six runs.
James Loney eventually busted the game wide open with a two-run single, part of a three-run sixth, to push the score to 12-6, and the Dodger bullpen shut the Reds out the rest of the game. All of the Dodgers position players earned a hit off Cincinnati pitching last night, and five Dodgers posted multiple hit games (Furcal-3, Ethier-3, Loney-3, Ramirez-3, and Russ Martin-2).
The Dodger outfield continues to rip the face off the ball as All-Star balloting gets underway. Kemp went 1-for-3 with four runs and two RBI, Ethier added a solo home-run in the third, his fourth of the year, going 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI, and Ramirez’s three singles pushed his average up to .421. After last night, Manny is hitting a red-hot 8-20 at Great American Ball Park.
Including Furcal, Loney and pinch-hitter Reed Johnson’s RBI single in the ninth, the top of the Dodger order batted a blistering 14-24 (.583 ba!). The Dodgers go into tonight’s game hitting a major-league best .315 and averaging 6.6 runs per game.
Pitching doesn’t seem to be the factor in this series so far. Both teams have combined for 51 hits, including seven long balls at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park. Despite getting off to a slow start Hiroki Kuroda earned his second win of the season. Kuroda gave up a total of six runs (three of which were earned) on seven hits in 5 and 2/3 innings, and for the first time in awhile the Dodger bullpen managed to hurl a shutout. Sherill, Weaver, Monasterios, and the newly activated Ronald Belisario combined for 3 and 1/3 allowing only two hits and two walks.
Vicente Padilla (1-1) will take the hill tonight after a shaky couple of starts. The right-hander has been roughed up the first couple of outings but has improved each time; he gave up three runs and struck out seven in seven innings of a 10-8 win over San Francisco on Friday.
Padilla (8.03 ERA) will be matched up against Reds’ rookie pitcher Mike Leake (0-0, 2.63 ERA) as the Blue Crew tries to peak past the .500 mark for the first time this season. They should fare pretty well tonight the Reds who are also having some pitching problems of their own. Los Angeles is 23-5 against the Reds since 2006, the best record against any team during that time span. The game is scheduled to start at 7:05 EDT.