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Dodgers beat Reds, 5-1, to end skid at five games in a row

Dodgers beat Reds, 5-1, to end skid at five games in a row
Dodgers shortstop Jimmy Rollins (11) celebrates with pitcher Alex Wood, left, and outfielder Yasiel Puig, right, after hitting a two-run home run off Reds pitcher Ryan Mattheus. (John Minchillo / Associated Press)

Perhaps pitcher Clayton Kershaw's call for an increased sense of urgency was heard around the clubhouse. Or maybe the Dodgers simply capitalized on the experience of the opposing pitcher.

Whatever the case, their losing streak ended Tuesday night at a season-long five games at Great American Ball Park with a 5-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds that included home runs by third baseman Justin Turner and shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

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"Especially after the last couple of the games, the little streak we've been on, you start to really get the sense of urgency Kersh is talking about," said recently acquired left-hander Alex Wood, who pitched 5 2/3 innings to earn his second victory for the Dodgers.

Kershaw's 2-day-old comments were also supported by Rollins, who scored the first run of the game on a first-inning double by right fielder Yasiel Puig.

"He's 100% right about that," Rollins said.

Rollins said there have been times when the Dodgers were in "cruise control."

"It isn't because of effort," Rollins said. "Every team goes through that. That's just the way it is. When that's recognized, it's time to call that out and step it up, just get back on the grind."

The Dodgers have 48 games remaining in the regular season.

"The marathon part is over," Rollins said. "It's a sprint now."

After a 3-2, 10-inning loss to the Houston Astros on Sunday, Kershaw said, "I hope we're panicking a little bit. I think panic's a good thing, to a certain extent. … There needs to be a sense of urgency, maybe that's better to say than panic. I feel like we have to start playing like that. Not to say we haven't, but it's definitely time to start thinking that way."

Manager Don Mattingly thought the statement would be well received by the other players because of who made it.

"I think Kershaw is one of our leaders," Mattingly said. "I think when he speaks, guys tend to listen to him because of the respect they have for the way he goes about his business. It's not like he's not backing it up with words or results or anything else."

The Dodgers immediately attacked Reds rookie starter John Lamb, whom they pounded for seven runs in only two innings Aug. 14 at Dodger Stadium.

Rollins led off the game with a double, Puig followed with a double and the Dodgers were up, 1-0.

Turner took advantage in the third inning of the hitter-friendly dimensions of the stadium, sending an off-speed pitch from Lamb over the left-field wall to increase the lead to 3-0.

Lamb lasted five innings and gave up three runs and five hits.

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The Dodgers were up, 5-0, after Rollins hit a two-run home run against Ryan Mattheus in the sixth inning.

The Reds scored in the sixth inning after Wood (9-8) gave up a two-run single to second baseman Brandon Phillips. Wood was replaced by Chris Hatcher, who served up a run-scoring double to third baseman Todd Frazier.

The 5-1 lead came under threat in the eighth inning, when Juan Nicasio loaded the bases with two outs. Left-hander Luis Avilan replaced Nicasio and struck out right fielder Jay Bruce to preserve the four-run lead.

"Big, big pitch to Jay," Rollins said. "That last curveball or slider, whichever one it was, it was filthy. He needed that, we needed that. It got us out of a sticky situation and we haven't been getting out of those."

Up next

Left-hander Brett Anderson (7-8, 3.52 ERA) will face left-hander David Holmberg (1-3, 6.57) and the Reds on Wednesday at 4 p.m. PDT at Great American Ball Park. TV: SportsNet LA; Radio: 570, 1020.

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