Thursday, May 29, 2014
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Reds Salvage Series Finale Against Dodgers

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[May 29, 2014]  LOS ANGELES -- Second baseman Brandon Phillips set the tone early, and starter Homer Bailey and a trio of relievers made sure it stood up, guiding the Cincinnati Reds to a much-needed win.

Phillips homered, Bailey delivered a strong performance, and the Reds snapped a season-high four-game losing streak with a 3-2 decision over the Los Angeles Dodgers before a crowd of 41,129 at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night.

Cincinnati (23-28) prevented Los Angeles (29-25) from recording a sweep of the three-game series. The Reds also ended the Dodgers' three-game winning streak.

"Regardless of who was pitching, it feels good to just come through for the team," said Phillips, who hit his fourth homer, a two-run shot in the first inning. "We haven't been scoring that many runs. We haven't been getting clutch hits and stuff like that, but it just feels good to do something for the team."

A wild pitch by Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw allowed third baseman Todd Frazier to score for a 3-1 advantage in the sixth, which turned out to be the difference. However, Phillips' 421-foot blast in the first gave the Reds a lead they would never relinquish.

"It was huge for us to score early in the game because we gave Bailey some room to work and do his thing," said Cincinnati first baseman Brayan Pena, who went 3-for-4 with a double. "We're very happy today that we came out with the victory and we just have to continue to work and get better."

Bailey (5-3) limited the Dodgers to two runs on five hits with six strikeouts and a walk in seven innings, throwing 96 pitches (66 strikes). Relievers Manny Parra and Jonathan Broxton, a former Dodger, combined to pitch a scoreless eighth before closer Aroldis Chapman pitched a clean ninth for his fifth save.

"It was a really big win," Bailey said. "We needed that. You don't ever want to get swept, I don't care where you're at."

Kershaw (3-2) struck out nine, but he allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk in seven innings. Kershaw, who threw 105 pitches (73 strikes), lost for the second time in his past three outings.

Yasiel Puig hit a solo home run in the sixth, extending his streak of reaching base to 29 games. After Bailey buzzed Puig with a high, inside fastball, the Los Angeles right fielder deposited the next pitch into the seats in right to pull the Dodgers within 3-2 with no outs. However, the Dodgers failed to score again.

"Both guys threw the ball really well," Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said of the starters. "Obviously, Clayton gives up the two early (runs). Homer seemed to be good all night."

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Phillips put the Reds on the board, drilling a 1-2 fastball from Kershaw into the left field pavilion for a two-run shot with one out in the first inning.

"I just hit a good pitch. It was a fastball, and he left it inside and I just hit it," Phillips said. "It was a great pitch, and I cheated. Maybe that's what happened."

Bailey limited the Dodgers to one hit until third baseman Justin Turner led off the fifth with a double to right. After advancing to third on a groundout by catcher Drew Butera, Turner scored on a passed ball by Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco to cut the Cincinnati lead to 2-1 with one out.

The Reds lost each of their previous five games at Dodger Stadium before Wednesday.

"Hopefully this can get us going in the right direction," Phillips said. "We've been playing OK baseball. Either our pitching is real good or our hitting is real good. It's never two things together, but today our defense was good and we got a clutch hit, and Homer pitched a great game."

NOTES: Dodgers LF Carl Crawford was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a left ankle sprain. Crawford suffered the injury in the eighth inning of Tuesday night's 6-3 victory. Crawford's absence resulted in OF Matt Kemp, who missed five consecutive starts, getting the nod in left field. Kemp went 0-for-4. ... The Dodgers selected the contract of INF/OF Jamie Romak from Triple-A Albuquerque to fill Crawford's roster spot. Romak made his major league debut after 1,069 games in 12 minor league seasons. He appeared as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning, and he grounded out to second. ... The Reds visit the Arizona Diamondbacks for a four-game series beginning Thursday. ... Los Angeles hosts the Pittsburgh Pirates in a four-game set beginning Thursday.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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