The Cincinnati Reds strike early in 4-1 win over Dodgers

By Ian Sacks,

Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting pitcher Zack Greinke was looking for his fifth career win at Great American Ball Park on Thursday afternoon. Unfortunately, he threw only five pitches before finding himself in a hole against the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds scored two runs in the bottom of the first, which would be all they needed as they went on to win 4-1 and handed Greinke his first loss at Great American Ball Park.

Cincinnati leadoff hitter Skip Schumaker got on base with a single to start the game. On the very next pitch, third baseman Todd Frazier belted a 357-foot home run to right. This blast put the Reds on top 2-1, after Los Angeles outfielder Matt Kemp drove in the lone Dodger run in the top of the first with an RBI single.

"It wasn't necessarily any worse pitches than the rest of the game, just that Frazier's hot," Greinke said, reports The Associated Press. "A first-pitch slider at the bottom of the zone, you take your chances. But he's a strong guy and got a homer out of it."

Greinke settled down after the first inning and allowed just one hit over the next five innings. He went six innings, giving up two runs on four hits and one walk.

His counterpart, Reds’ starter Alfredo Simon, went eight innings giving up just one run on seven hits. He picked up his ninth win of the season, which ties Saint Louis Cardinals’ ace Adam Wainwright for the most in the National League.

The Reds got their final two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Shortstop Zack Cozart scored on a wild pitch, and pinch hitter Ryan Ludwick drove in Schumaker with a base hit to center field.

The Dodgers were missing one of their top players for the game, as starting shortstop Hanley Ramirez was out of the starting lineup for the second straight game with a sore right shoulder, reports ESPN LA.

After the Dodgers scored 12 runs in the first two games of the series, the Reds’ pitchers held them to just one run in the final two games to come away with a split.

Up next, the Dodgers will return home to host the Arizona Diamondbacks, while the Reds will visit the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers.

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