By HAL McCOY
Matt Harvey’s debut with the Cincinnati Reds Friday night in Dodger Stadium was the stuff of Hollywood.
Tossed on the junk heap by the New York Mets and traded to the Reds for catcher Devin Mesoraco on Wednesday, The Dark Knight made it a dark night for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Theoretically, Harvey was perfect for four innings as manager Jim Riggleman eased him into the rotation for only four innings.
And Harvey retired 12 of the 13 Dodgers he faced. It should have been 12 up and 12 down, but right fielder Scott Schebler lost a fly ball in the lights with one out in the second inning and it fell for a triple.
So Harvey’s line was four innings, no runs, one hit, no walks and two strikes. He only threw 55 pitches and Riggleman wanted to pull him after three innings. Harvey, though, talked him into one more inning and he went 1-2-3. He went to 3-and-2 counts three times and one other three-ball count, but did not issue a walk. He had the Dodgers popping up all night, recording seven short flies balls among the 12 outs he recorded.
Because a starting pitcher must work five innings to get credit for a victory, Harvey did not get the win for his four sparkling innings.
Meanwhile, the Reds pounded LA starter Kenta Maeda and scored a 6-2 victory, their season’s best fourth straight win.
Once again, the offensive barrage was led by second baseman Scooter Gennett. On Thursday, he had three hits, including a home run, and drove in three runs in a 4-1 victory.
On Friday he had four more hits, hit another home run and drove in three more runs. His home run was his fourth in four games, the first time in his career he has hit home runs in four straight games.
Jesse Winker opened the game by lining Maeda’s first pitch off the right field wall for a double and scored on Joey Votto’s single.
The Reds made it 3-0 in the third on Jose Peraza’s double and Gennett’s single for a run and Tucker Barnhart’s two-out run-scoring single.
The lead swelled to 5-0 in the fifth when Joey Votto walked and Gennett homered into the short porch down the right field line.
With Harvey gone, the Dodgers finally scored a run off Jackson Stephens in the fifth on a pair of one-out back-to-back doubles by Chris Taylor and Max Muncy.
Austin Brice came on and struck out the first four Dodgers he faced before giving up a home run to Muncy with two outs in the seventh, cutting the lead to 5-2.
The Reds retrieved that run in the top of the ninth on Joey Votto’s walk, Gennett’s fourth hit, a single, and a sacrifice fly to Eugenio Suarez.
When Riggleman took over the manager’s chair early this season, the Reds were 3-and-15. And they lost their first three in St. Louis to the Cardinals. Since then, the Reds are 9-and-9 under Riggleman and playing outstanding baseball.
And when the Reds arrived in Los Angeles Thursday, they arrived as LA pushovers. The Dodgers had won 17 of the last 19 against the Reds and eight in a row. Now the Reds have won two straight in Dodger Stadium for the first time since 2011.
Harvey will be back on the mound Wednesday in San Francisco when the Reds conclude this seven-game trip. While Harvey was displaying his charm for the Reds Friday, Devin Mesoraco hit a ninth-inning home run for the New York Mets in their 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.