CINCINNATI (AP) — Even with two losses at the end of their trip, the Los Angeles Dodgers were satisfied with how they’d spent the past week away from home.
Now comes the challenge they haven’t met all season: Win at Dodger Stadium.
Todd Frazier hit a two-run homer off Zack Greinke, who lost his perfect record at Great American Ball Park, and the Cincinnati Reds beat Los Angeles 4-1 on Thursday afternoon for a split of their four-game series.
The Dodgers completed a 4-3 trip to Colorado and Cincinnati, two hitter-friendly ballparks. Their pitching was solid, but the offense faded at the end, scoring one run in the last two games. They were limited to eight singles on Thursday, including Matt Kemp’s RBI hit in the first inning.
“We played pretty well this trip,” manager Don Mattingly said. “Basically you play at .500 or a little above on the road, you’re going to feel pretty good about it.
“Up to this point, we haven’t been able to make hay at home. That’s the thing that has to change for us. We’ve got to play better at home.”
The Dodgers are 19-14 on the road, one of the best marks in the NL. They’re only 11-16 at home, something that’s hard for them to explain. Also, they haven’t won more than three in a row all season, no matter where they’ve been playing.
“We’ve been playing pretty solid,” Greinke said. “People expect us to win every game, win 10 games in a row. It’s possible, but we’re over .500.”
The Reds won the last two games to finish a 5-5 homestand that left them stuck closer to the bottom of the NL Central than the top.
Greinke (8-3) had been 4-0 in five games at Great American. A slow start cost him his perfect mark. Skip Schumaker opened the Reds’ first with a single, and Frazier followed with his team-high 14th homer on Greinke’s fifth pitch of the game. Joey Votto doubled on the next pitch as well.
Cincinnati would get only one more hit off Greinke, who went six innings before leaving for a pinch-hitter.
“Just baseball, I guess,” Greinke said. “It wasn’t necessarily any worse pitches than the rest of the game, just that Frazier’s hot. A first-pitch slider at the bottom of the zone, you take your chances. But he’s a strong guy and got a homer out of it.”
The Reds added a pair of runs in the eighth, when Zack Cozart doubled and scored on Brandon League’s wild pitch. Ryan Ludwick had an RBI single.
Alfredo Simon (9-3) gave up seven singles in eight innings, joining the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright as the NL’s nine-game winners.
Simon matched his career high with eight innings and held the lead by pitching out of a threat in the seventh with a 2-1 lead. Kemp and Andre Ethier opened with singles. Tim Federowicz flied out too shallow to score the run, and Kemp was caught in a rundown after he tried to score on Miguel Rojas’ grounder. Pinch-hitter Scott Van Slyke struck out to end the threat.
Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 11 chances.
NOTES: The Dodgers start a six-game homestand on Friday against Arizona. LHP Clayton Kershaw (5-2) faces Chase Anderson (5-0). … The Reds play their next six games in Milwaukee and Pittsburgh. Homer Bailey (7-3) faces Matt Garza (4-4) on Friday. … LA is 39-22 against the Reds since the start of the 2006 season. …. The Dodgers won a challenge in the first inning, when Brandon Phillips initially was called safe at first base. The replay showed he was out. … SS Hanley Ramirez was out of the lineup for a second consecutive game with a sore throwing shoulder. Mattingly said he got an injection in the shoulder on Wednesday night and felt better a day later. He’s expected back in a couple of days. … Frazier has five homers in his last 11 games.
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