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Dodgers Vs. Reds Recap: Decision To Bunt In Eighth Proves Costly

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Clayton Kershaw opened the game by keeping Cincinnati Reds center fielder and speedster Billy Hamilton off the bases by getting him to ground out to Justin Turner. However, the rest of the inning wouldn’t go as well for Kershaw, who then allowed a double to Todd Frazier and a two-run home run to Brandon Phillips.

Dee Gordon greeted Reds starter Homer Bailey with a leadoff single in the bottom of the first and reached third base with one out on an Andre Ethier ground out. Gordon would be left stranded as Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez both struck out and the Los Angeles Dodgers trailed 2-0 going to the second inning.

After a Ryan Ludwick strikeout, Brayan Pena hit the Reds’ second double of the game in the second inning and he took third on a passed ball, Drew Butera’s seventh of the season. Kershaw then struck out the side by getting Zack Cozart swinging and Bailey looking.

The Dodgers wouldn’t collect another hit until the fifth inning when Turned led off with a double. Drew Butera advanced Turner to third with a ground ball to first base and the third baseman scored on a passed ball. Kershaw and Gordon followed with back-to-back singles, but Ethier hit into an inning-ending double play.

Frazier doubled in the sixth and scored on what was ruled a wild pitch, but should have been blocked by Butera. Puig got the Dodgers back within one run with a solo homer to right-center. The Reds had runners reach second and third following a double and single, but they were unable to add to their lead.

Kershaw’s night would be over after the seventh inning and new call up Jamie Romak made his MLB debut with a pinch-hit appearance. Romak didn’t last long at the plate and grounded out to second to end the bottom of the seventh. Brandon League took the mound in the eighth and recorded two outs before giving way to J.P. Howell. For League, his streak of not allowing an earned run was extended to 22 innings across 16 appearances.

Manny Parra relieved Bailey at the start of the bottom of the eighth and walked Gordon. The Dodger second baseman attempted to steal a base while Ehiter laid down a sac-bunt. The mistake of having Ethier bunt while Gordon took off for second came back to haunt the Dodgers as Puig and Ramirez ended the inning with back-to-back fly outs.

Brian Wilson came on in the ninth and pitched a scoreless inning to keep the Dodgers within 3-2. Reds closer Aroldis Chapman closed the door on the Dodgers to pick up his fifth save of the season.
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