Dodgers offense struggles aside from Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp
Reporting from Cincinnati — Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp hit.
Almost no one else did.
Ethier and Kemp combined for four of the Dodgers’ six hits in a 2-1 defeat to the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on Friday, during which leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal was lost to a strained side.
Three times, the Dodgers had Ethier and Kemp on base. Only once did they score.
That was in the fourth inning, when Jay Gibbons was hit by a pitch to load the bases and James Loney hit a sacrifice fly that scored Ethier.
But Kemp tried to tag up from second base on that play and was thrown out when left fielder Fred Lewis delivered the ball to shortstop Paul Janish instead of sending it home.
“It was tough,” Loney said. “We got some guys on base.”
The Dodgers were 0 for 5 with men in scoring position.
Hiroki Kuroda battled control problems, as he walked a season-high four batters and threw nearly as many balls (54) as he did strikes (60).
Two fifth-inning walks were particularly costly. With two outs and a man on second base, Kuroda walked Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. The next batter, Scott Rolen, singled to center and drove in two runs to put the Reds ahead, 2-1.
“In that scenario, you’re most scared of a home run, especially in this park, which is small,” Kuroda said. “I became too careful.”
Rookie right-hander Rubby De La Rosa will take the injured Jon Garland’s place in the Dodgers’ rotation, Manager Don Mattingly said.
De La Rosa is scheduled to start Tuesday in Philadelphia. The start will be the first of his career.
The Dodgers’ minor league pitcher of the year last season, hard-throwing De La Rosa has given up one run in five innings of relief.
De La Rosa’s last start in the minors was cut short because the Dodgers wanted to rest his arm. His last regular start was on May 15, when he lasted 32/3 innings
Lasorda makes an appearance
Former Manager Tom Lasorda, who was hospitalized for four days last week with a bacterial infection, was at Dodger Stadium on Friday.
The reason: He gave a pregame pep talk to Palm Desert High’s baseball team in the CIF Southern Section Division 4 final.
One of Palm Desert’s players is Ryan Garvey, the son of former Dodger Steve Garvey.
Palm Desert fell to Bishop Amat, 7-0.
Times staff writer Eric Sondheimer in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
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