By HAL McCOY
Las Vegas didn’t know what to do until they thought it over. Then they did know.
When the morning line came out they weren’t certain who would pitch Tuesday night for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
So, a writer for ‘Scores and Odds’ wrote, “The problem is, as of this writing. not even the Dodgers themselves are sure who that will be. Thus there’s no early line on the game, although L.A. should be favored regardless of who it is because the Reds stink.”
So they made the Dodgers the favorite. And they were correct. The Dodgers scored an 8-2 victory, extending Cincinnati’s losing streak to nine straight and losers in 14 of their last 16.
THE DODGERS CALLED up Mike Bolsinger from Triple-A and he held the Reds to two runs and three hits over 5 2/3 innings in Dodger Stadium.
The Reds called up rookie Daniel Wright from Triple-A Louisville to make his major league debut and he acquitted himself well over 5 ½ innings — four runs (three earned), seven hits, one walk and four strikeouts.
The defense let him down. Just as they did in Monday’s 1-0 loss to Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers, the Reds made three errors.
A throwing error by catcher Tucker Barnhart led to the only run Monday. Another Barnhart throwing error and a booted ground ball by first baseman Joey Votto let in two unearned runs Tuesday.
WRIGHT, THE NINTH starting pitcher to make his debut for the Reds in the last two seasons, gave up a run in the first inning when the first three Dodgers singled — Chase Utley, Corey Saeger and a bloop-flair by Justin Turner made it 1-0.
When the Reds came to bat in the fourth they hadn’t scored a run in 17 innings and Bolsinger struck out Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips.
Trying to shake loose some offense, manager Bryan Price adjusted his batting order. He moved Votto from third to second, Phillips from fourth to third and Jay Bruce from fifth to fourth.
After the two strikeouts, Jay Bruce doubled. Then Adam Duvall, who had struck out six straight times, drilled his ninth home run over the left center wall to give the Reds a brief 2-1 lead.
IT LASTED ONLY until the Dodgers came to bat in the bottom of the fourth.
Trayce Thompson singled and scored from first on a double to left center to tie it, 2-2. Pederson then stole third and continued home when Barnhart’s throw zipped into left field for an error and a 3-2 LA lead.
The Dodgers added two more in the sixth when Thompson doubled and continued to third when right fielder Bruce bobbled the ball when it ricocheted off the wall.
Yasiel Puig singled off the right field wall, loafing to first base when he believed he had a home run, but a run scored on the play. Puig took second on a fielder’s choice and scored from there when Votto couldn’t handle pinch-hitter Howie Kendrick’s hard ground ball to make it 5-2.
AFTER FINALLY SCORING in the fourth to break the 17-inning drought, the Reds started another one. They went five more innings without scoring — two runs in 23 innings. The last 17 Reds made outs Monday against Kershaw and 16 of the lasst 17 made outs Tuesday.
They had three hits after four innings, and finished the game with three hits, giving them five hits in two games against the Dodgers.
Brandon Phillips is 2 for 30, Eugenio Suarez is 0 for 15 with 10 strikeouts, Jay Bruce is 1 for 19 and Joey Votto is hovering at .204.
IN ADDITION TO JUGGLING the batting order, Price is using as many new pitching faces as he can out of the bullpen.
Dayan Diaz followed Wright, making his second major league appearance and he gave up an unearned run (Votto’s error) and one hit in two-thirds of an inning. Then A.J. Morris made his major league debut in the eighth. He retired the first two major leaguers he saw, then walked three straight to fill the bases.
Then he gave up a two-run single to Justin Turner for a 7-2 lead. That was the end of the night for Morris. Walks continue to be the crippling disease in the bullpen and it is what gets a relief pitcher a ride back to Louisville on the shuttle.
Next up was left hander Josh Smith, another recent call-up. He quickly gave up a run-scoring single to Adrian Gonzalez and a walk before finally getting the final out.
SO AFTER MORRIS got the first two outs of the inning, the Dodgers scored three runs.
When the Reds visit Los Angeles they might be better served to skip the games and visit the La Brea tar pits or the Hollywood Walk of Fame or just sit in traffic on the vehicle-clogged LA freeways. In their last 33 games in LA they have won nine games. And the Reds have lost nine straight to the Dodgers.
And, of course, there is that road mystery. The Reds are 3-and-16 on the road this year.
In addition, Mike’s Car Wash in Cincinnati isn’t giving any discounts away this year on Bow-Tie Tuesday. Mike’s offers a discount when the Reds win on Tuesday. They are 2-and-11.