Reds enjoy a lucky seventh in 6-4 win over Dodgers
Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda arrived Monday night with a personal four-game losing streak, in no small part because his teammates had given him little support over that span, an average of less than two runs per game.
But with the Dodgers’ offense perking up nicely in the last week, perhaps this time they could give the Japanese right-hander a bit more breathing space?
The Dodgers’ offense largely went limp again, this time against starter Bronson Arroyo, and Kuroda more than used up what little room for error he had as Cincinnati defeated the Dodgers, 6-4.
Kuroda “seems like he’s been snake-bit” in terms of getting little support, Manager Don Mattingly said.
Rookie shortstop Dee Gordon certainly tried to get the Dodgers back in the game — the opener of a 12-game homestand at Dodger Stadium — after Kuroda had departed.
Gordon lined a triple that drove in a run, both major league firsts for the 23-year-old, in the eighth inning, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Aaron Miles.
But a Gordon error also proved costly for Kuroda and the Dodgers in the Reds’ four-run seventh inning that gave them a 6-2 lead.
After Gordon booted Ryan Hanigan’s grounder, Paul Janish grounded to third baseman Juan Uribe, who threw to Miles, the second baseman, to start a double play.
Hanigan was forced at second base but Miles threw wildly to first base for another error, enabling Janish to reach second base and later score on an Arroyo single. That was all for Kuroda, who was replaced by Matt Guerrier.
Guerrier walked Brandon Phillips and gave up a three-run home run to Joey Votto, sending many in the announced crowd of 31,372 to the parking lots.
Even before his error, Gordon was having a night that might best be called a learning experience.
After Chris Heisey singled in the second inning, Miguel Cairo grounded to Miles, who threw to Gordon to start a double play. But the umpire ruled Gordon missed tagging second base, Heisey was called safe and later scored on Janish’s single.
Gordon rebounded with consecutive defensive gems in the third inning. He snared a sharp grounder up the middle to throw out Phillips, then picked up a Votto grounder that had caromed off Kuroda and threw out Votto.
Kuroda overall was charged with four runs, two unearned, and seven hits in 61/3 innings, including a solo home run by Heisey in the sixth inning.
Kuroda, speaking through an interpreter, said that “I’ve become too careful” with pitches and fallen behind too many counts “because unfortunately I don’t get a lot of run support. I don’t want to give up any runs.”
The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Andre Ethier hit a two-out single, Matt Kemp was hit by the pitch and James Loney, who began the game batting .333 against Arroyo, singled home Ethier.
They added a run in the fourth inning when Kemp and Loney singled and Kemp scored when Uribe grounded into a double play.
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