After taking 3 of 4 from the St. Louis Cardinals the Reds faced the hottest team in baseball the Los Angeles Dodgers for a crucial
weekend series at GABP. The Dodgers have lost only 9 games since the All-Star break, four of those losses come at the hands of the Reds who swept the Dodgers for the first time since 1992 with a 3-2 victory Sunday night.
Clayton Kershaw took the mound for the Dodgers, Kershaw is regarded by many as the best pitcher in the National League. A record contract is likely in order for Kershaw after the season. Sunday night though Jay Bruce solved the Kershaw puzzle taking the all-star pitcher deep twice. Kershaw has not given up multiple homeruns in a game to a lefty since May 2012. Bruce’s two home runs gave the Reds the lead in the fourth after the Dodgers tied the score at 1.
“He’s a pitcher, if he gives you a pitch to hit, if you don’t take advantage of it, you’re probably out. He threw me a couple pitches I could handle tonight.” Said Jay Bruce after hitting two home runs against Kershaw.
With a 1-0 lead early Reds pitcher Homer Bailey was dealing. Bailey has been strong lately and Sunday night was no different. Bailey had a no hitter into the 4th before giving up a hit to Adrian Gonzalez. Bailey went 7Ip giving up 6 H, 2Er, while striking out 9 in the process.
Following a strong outing by Bailey relievers Zach Duke and JJ Hoover were brought in for the 8th. Duke threw 4 pitches, 3 of which were strikes doing exactly what manager Dusty Baker wanted. Hoover closed out the 8th setting up for an Aroldis Chapman 9th.
To say Chapman has been dominant in his last 6 outings would be an understatement. 14 strikeouts in 6IP over his last 6 appearances is domination. Chapman made the 4th best hitting team in the majors look like scrubs this weekend. Sunday night he had a 1-2-3 inning putting the game in the hands of the offense.
Offensively Cincinnati struggled, they got to Kershaw early with the bases loaded in the 3rd the Reds squandered a chance to win.
That changed in the 9th as Ronald Belasario came in in relief for the Dodgers. After getting Todd Frazier to pop out Zach Cozart came to the plate. A Cozart single brought Ryan Hanigan to the plate. Hanigan recieved the last 2 games off after going 0-4 Thursday night against the Cardinals.
Hanigan would change that in the 9th. His double to deep left field would score a streaking Coazrt from first giving Hanigan his first walk off of the season and the Reds a sweep of the Dodgers.
With this sweep and winning 6 of their last 7 the Reds are now tied for 2nd in the NL Central only 1.5 games out of the lead. Less than a month ago Cincinnati was 7.5 out looking like a second wild card team, now they have a shot.
The Chicago Cubs come to town this week. Bronson Arroyo (13-10) will be on the mound for Cincinnati Monday night at 7:10.