By HAL McCOY
For the umpteenth time this season, a Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher made a dubious cameo appearance, short and not-so-sweet.
Even though the Reds gave him a four-run lead in the first inning, Cody Reed couldn’t make it beyond the fourth inning against the potent and powerful Los Angeles Dodgers.
On this night, though, the Reds strapped on their hitting gear and pounded the Dodgers, 10-6, Monday night in Great American Ball Park.
Reed’s short evening consisted of three runs, five hits, three walks and five strikeouts and when he left the Reds led, 5-3.
Because he didn’t pitch five innings, he didn’t get the victory. But there was a sunbeam attached. The Reds had lost all 14 of his previous starts so although he didn’t get the win, the Reds did.
But is Reed one of the answers to the Reds relentless search to fill out a rotation? Probably not. His career record is 1-and-10 with a 6.53 earned run average.
The Reds did a complete assault on LA starter Alex Wood, four runs in the first inning, seven runs and eight hits over 3 2/3 innings.
The Dodgers, though, never cried uncle in this one after falling behind, 4-0. They came from 5-1 behind to 5-3. They came from 10-4 behind to 10-6.
When it was 10-6, they had the bases loaded with one out in the seventh inning. Because of the ridiculous rule that teams can expand their rosters by as many as 15 in September, LA manager Dave Roberts sent up six pinch-hitters.
One of them was Yasiel Puig with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh. A grand slam home run would tie it and Puig was 4 for 5 with two home runs against Jared Hughes.
And what a battle commenced. On a 2-and-2 count, Puig fouled off seven straight pitches. Then he scalded a line drive toward left field. But third baseman Eugenio snagged it and whipped a throw to second base for an inning-ending double play.
Offensively, Scooter Gennett was the Redsflag-bearer with four hits and three RBI, pushing his league-leading batting average to .320.
Eugenio Suarez, who hadn’t driven in a run in eight games, cracked his 32nd home run and lifted his RBI total to 101 in his neck-to-neck race with Chicago’s Javier Baez.
LA’s Wood created his own messy bed in the bottom of the first when he walked Billy Hamilton and hit Jose Peraza with a pitch.
The suddenly powerful Joey Votto, who turned 35 Monday, almost hit his third home run in three games. The ball hit the top of the right field wall for two runs. Gennett singled home a run and the fourth scored on shortstop Manny Machado’s lackadaisical throwing error on a routine ground ball.
The Dodgers scored a run in the third but Suarez retrieved the run in the bottom of the inning with his home run.
LA pulled within 5-3 on Chris Taylor’s two-run home run in the fourth but the Reds immediately snatched those two back in the bottom of the inning on run-scoring singles by Jose Peraza and Scooter Gennett, Gennett’s coming after the Dodgers intentionally walked Suarez in front of him with two outs.
Gennett is 14 for 19 in the five straight victories the Reds own against the Dodgers after they swept four games in Los Angeles early this season.
The Dodgers crept back to within 7-4 in the sixth when Yasmani Grandal, a Reds’ No. 1 draft pick, homered off Michael Lorenzen. Opponents now have a major league high 212 home runs against Cincinnati pitching.
On the opposite end, the Dodgers lead the National League with 202 home runs and have homered in 18 straight games, a Los Angeles franchise record.
The Reds scored three in the sixth that included a two-run single by Tucker Barnhart off Ryan Madson to make it 10-4. The interesting segment of that inning was that Madson faced Joey Votto.
The last time they saw each other Madson was pitching for the Washington Nationals and he hit Votto above the knee, knocking him onto the disabled list. This time he struck Votto out.
Wandy Peralta entered the game in the seventh to face a couple of left handers and gave up back-to-back singles to Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy plus a walk and suddenly it was 10-6 with the bases loaded.
That’s when Hughes arrived to face Puig for the night’s big battle and after 11 pitches Hughes prevailed spectacularly.
The Dodgers came into the game just a half game behind Colorado in the National League West, but played the Reds as if they thought they could toss their gloves on the field and win.
The Reds showed them that isn’t the case.