By HAL McCOY
The Los Angeles Dodgers borrowed a famous quote from the 1976 movie Network: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any more.”
After losing six straight games to the Cincinnati Reds this season, the Dodgers turned a fire hose on the Reds Wednesday afternoon in Great American Ball Park.
After Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani pitched three perfect innings, nine up and nine down, the Dodgers exploded on DeSclafani and the Reds bullpen for two runs in the fourth, four runs in the fifth and two runs in the sixth en route to an 8-1 victory.
The Reds took a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning on Jose Peraza’s home run off LA starter Ross Stripling. That was hit. No more runs and only four more hits.
DeSclafani’s perfect game, no-hitter and shutout ended with one swing of the bat by the first hitter in the fourth, a home run by Joc Pederson, his second home run in the last two games.
It was Pederson’s 21st home run and extended LA’s home run streak to 20 straight games, a Los Angeles franchise record. And it was the team’s 204th home run this season, most in the National League by 20 over the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Dodgers didn’t stop there. With two outs, Max Muncy singled. Yasmani Grandal drove one to deep right. A youngster in the first row reached over the wall and made the game’s best catch.
Umpires awarded Grandal with a ground rule double and permitted Muncy to score because he was running on the pitch from first base with two outs and the arbiters ruled he would have scored had the young fan not interfered.
That gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead, their first lead over the Reds in 34 innings.
DeSclafani walked Yasiel Puig to open the fifth and gave up a one-out double to Pederson. That put runners on third and second with one out.
With first base open the Reds decided to pitch to Justin Turner, LA’s hottest hitter. He singled to center for two runs and a 4-1 lead.
DeSclafani retired Manny Machado but when he walked Max Muncy his day was done in favor of Wandy Peralta. Yasmani Grandal singled to make it 5-1 and a sixth run scored on second baseman Scooter Gennett’s error.
After three perfect innings, DeSclafani’s final line was 4 2/3 innings, six runs (five earned), five hits, three walks, five strikeouts and a loss.
The Dodgers added two more in the sixth against Amir Garrett and Matt Wisler, a run-scoring double by Justin Turner and a run-scoring single by Grandal on the first pitch Wisler threw.
After the Dodgers were haunted the first two games of the series by former Dodgers Scott Schebler, Brandon Dixon and Jose Peraza, all three traded to the Reds by LA, the Dodgers flipped the table.
This game was dominated by Dodgers who are former Reds. Turner, once a Reds farmhand, had two hits and three RBI. Grandal, a No. 1 draft pick by the Reds, had three hits and three RBI. Relief pitcher Dylan Floro, traded by the Reds to the Dodgers early this season, pitched a perfect inning after pitching a runless, hitless (one walk) inning on Tuesday.
After a day off Thursday, the Reds embark on their final trip of the season and they could have a monumental say on who does and who doesn’t win the National League Central.
They start Friday with a three-game series against the division-leading Chicago Cubs, then move on to Milwaukee next week for a three-game series against the second place Brewers.