Dodgers unleash potent attack to beat Reds, 14-6

Matt Kemp said the gluttonous run production is a result of the depth of the Dodgers’ lineup. Manager Joe Torre said it’s a reflection of the protection the middle-of-the-lineup hitters offer each other.

But Andre Ethier said that the relentless attack that pounded out 18 hits in the Dodgers’ 14-6 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night at Great American Ball Park was something that was years in the making.

“That’s what happens when you have a group of guys that have stuck together for so long like we have,” Ethier said.

Ethier hit his fourth home run of the season, Kemp his seventh and Manny Ramirez was three for four to increase his average to .421.

Rafael Furcal was three for five, drove in four runs and scored four. James Loney was three for six with two runs batted in.

The Dodgers’ 93 runs lead the majors, as does their .315 average.

“I think guys aren’t trying to do too much and trusting and believing in what they have,” Ethier said. “Even more, they’re trusting in each other. It doesn’t take someone to go out there to hit a double or a home run, necessarily, to make things go. Guys come up with a single here or a walk and someone gets a big hit and it starts rolling.”

Nine Dodgers collected hits, five had multi-hit games and seven drove in at least one run. This marked the fifth time the Dodgers (7-7) scored nine runs or more in a game and the ninth time they scored six or more.

“It’s knowing each other and knowing what guys are capable of doing and aren’t capable of doing,” Ethier said. “You don’t guess how guys are going to handle situations. It makes all aspects of the game better, baserunning, situational hitting to just going there and hitting.”

So overwhelming was the Dodgers lineup that it was almost a non-issue that Hiroki Kuroda was charged with a season-high six runs (three earned) in a season-low 52/3 innings.

Or that the Dodgers made two errors.

Or that first base umpire Tim McClelland reversed a fourth-inning call that resulted in a run for the Reds that tied the score, 4-4.

“That’s quite a lineup we have,” Kuroda said. “I know that as long as I hang in there, there’s a strong possibility it will lead to a win. It’s the kind of lineup I wouldn’t want to face.”

Condemned to that fate was Aaron Harang, who was the subject of brief trade talks between the Dodgers and Reds over the winter.

The 3-1 lead that Harang was handed in the first inning was lost by the second, as Furcal doubled to drive in two runs to tie the score.

Ethier put the Dodgers ahead in the third inning on a home run to right-center field.

“You don’t want to walk me to get to ‘Dre,” Kemp said. “‘Dre is just as capable as me, Manny or anybody else of hitting the ball out of the ballpark. And you don’t want to walk ‘Dre because it’s the same thing.”

Harang (0-3) was charged with seven runs (six earned) and 10 hits in 52/3 innings, his earned-run average soaring to 8.31 in the process.