Nothing like a rookie left-hander making just his third start and carrying a 6.35 earned-run average to the mound to snap a team out of its offensive doldrums.
Or maybe it was Clayton Kershaw's call for a greater urgency, or that the Cincinnati Reds are struggling even more severely than the Dodgers, or the simple law of averages kicked in.
All the Dodgers needed to know for certain was that they won Tuesday night, dropping the Reds, 5-1, at the Great American Ball Park to snap their season-high losing streak at five games.
The Dodgers got a strong start from Alex Wood, two-run homers from Justin Turner and Jimmy Rollins, and a workable performance from the bullpen to win for the first time in an eight-game road trip. They have two games remaining in Cincinnati.
The Dodgers opened the scoring against John Lamb, the Laguna Hills High School product they had rocked for five runs in six innings in his major league debut Aug. 14, with a run in the first on back-to-back doubles by Rollins and Yasiel Puig.
They went up 3-0 in the third when Turner followed an Adrian Gonzalez double with his 15th home run. Lamb (0-2), having already thrown 108 pitches, left after five innings.
Right-hander Ryan Mattheus took over for Lamb in the sixth, and with two outs, Wood singled and Rollins hit his 13th home run of the season.
The Dodgers did not homer over the weekend while being swept in Houston by the Astros. They continue to lead the National League in homers, but may be proving too dependent on the long ball. Top pitchers give up fewer home runs.
Meanwhile, Wood was throwing a decent number of pitches himself but had held the Reds scoreless through five innings.
Wood (9-8) got the first two outs in the sixth before giving up a single to Brandon Phillips to take his pitch count to 88, which Manager Don Mattingly deemed enough. Wood argued with him on the mound to remain in the game to no avail. Wood has been a Dodger less than a month, but has picked up on the bullpen's struggles.
Mattingly summoned Chris Hatcher, who immediately gave up a run-scoring double to Todd Frazier. Mattingly then called on left-hander J.P. Howell, who retired Jay Bruce on a grounder for the inning's final out.
The bullpen made the game interesting in the eighth when the Reds had a two-out rally against Juan Nicasio. A walk to Joey Votto, a Phillips single and a walk to Frazier loaded the bases. Nicasio, just off the disabled list, was replaced by left-hander Luis Avilan, who struck out Bruce.
Kenley Jansen, who warmed up in the eighth, pitched the ninth though there was no save situation. Jansen, who blew the save Sunday, threw a perfect ninth inning.