Reds cool off Dodgers
LOS ANGELES — Mat Latos was able to get deep into the game because of his pitch count. He threw only 74 through the first six, so he had plenty left to get through a seventh-inning jam and came within one out of getting through the eighth.
Latos ended up with 106 pitches in a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night, ending the NL West leaders’ six-game winning streak. Jay Bruce and Xavier Paul provided the power with home runs against Zack Greinke.
“Latos was really dealing tonight,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He was throwing downhill. His fastball looked like it was going to go low, and then it stayed up in the zone. He also had a really good breaking ball. That’s a heck of a team over there, and he almost got out of the eighth without anything.”
Latos (10-3) allowed two runs — one earned — and eight hits with four strikeouts en route to his first victory at Dodger Stadium, after going 0-5 with a 3.95 ERA in his five previous starts at Chavez Ravine.
Latos is 24-7 in 54 starts since Cincinnati acquired him from San Diego in December 2011. The last time he faced the Dodgers back on Sept. 22 at Cincinnati, he pitched eight innings in a 6-0 victory that clinched the Reds’ second NL Central title in a three-year span.
Aroldis Chapman got three outs for his 24th save in 27 chances.
Coming off a 6-0 trip that extended their road winning streak to 10 games — the longest by the franchise since 1955 — the Dodgers lost for only the sixth time in their last 29 games overall. Their division lead over Arizona shrunk to a half-game with the Diamondbacks’ 3-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
“We’re in a good spot, but we have to keep going,” catcher A.J. Ellis said. “We’ve worked hard to get to this point, and we don’t want to let it go to waste. We’ve got some good teams behind us that are going to be tough down the stretch, so we’ve got to stay humble and understand that this is part of the grind.”
Yasiel Puig, who has been playing like anything but a rookie since the Dodgers promoted him from Triple-A on June 3, single-handedly manufactured their unearned run in the fourth after leading off with a single and making his customary exaggerated turn at first.
Center fielder Shin-Soo Choo tried to get cute and made an ill-advised throw past first baseman Joey Votto — hoping to surprise Puig — and the ball hopped into the stands. Puig was awarded two bases and scored on the first of Adrian Gonzalez’s two RBI groundouts. The error was Choo’s third of the season.
“That wasn’t a bad play,” Baker said. “I mean, if that throw is on the money, he has him. But it just looked bad because it had a tail on it and it was cutting away, and it skipped by Joey. Those things don’t happen unless a guy is hustling, and there aren’t many guys that hustle like that on a sure single. So you’ve got to give Puig credit for that.
“I remember when I first came into the league, Hank Aaron told me not to mess around — especially when Pete Rose or Roberto Clemente hits the ball because they would put pressure on you to throw the ball,” Baker added. “And the only way to do that is to run. So I’ve got to give it to him. Most guys don’t run like that, and most guys can’t. The ones that can don’t usually hustle like that. But this guy comes to play.”
Choo made another egregious mistake on the base paths during the Reds’ eighth. Votto lined a hit-and-run single to center field, but Choo got fooled on a perfect decoy by shortstop Hanley Ramirez at second base — so good that Choo started back to first and was tagged out on the relay from Andre Ethier to Ramirez.
“That’s an old schoolyard play that works like once a year somewhere, and it worked for them tonight,” Baker said. “He didn’t pick up the third base coach. You’ve got to use your ears as well as your eyes, and you’ve got to take a peek. Sometimes in your quest to get to second base, you don’t take a peek.”
Puig, who went 53 at-bats without an extra-base hit before his double and home run in the Dodgers’ 8-3 win against the Blue Jays on Wednesday, had a pair of singles and raised his average to .378.
“He’s got long arms and a big bat,” Latos said. “Both singles he had off me I jammed him, but he’s big and strong. He put one into the shallow part of the outfield, then I beat him on a slider and he was able to keep the barrel out and reach over and hook it.”
Greinke (8-3) gave up four runs and six hits over seven innings in his second attempt at his 100th major league victory. The loss was the right-hander’s first in his last six decisions overall, and first in seven career starts against the Reds (4-1).
A couple of former Dodgers drove in Cincinnati’s first two runs. Paul, the second batter Greinke faced, drove a 2-0 pitch into the right-field pavilion in his 700th career plate appearance. Cesar Izturis added an RBI single in the second inning.
“Obviously, Zack’s a very good pitcher and he’s got a lot of weapons, so you’ve got to make sure you get something you can handle and take advantage of mistakes,” Bruce said.
Bruce was 2 for 21 lifetime against Greinke before driving a 2-2 pitch to left-center for his 21st homer. It came after Greinke turned Votto’s comebacker into a 1-6-3 double play and then hit Brandon Phillips on the leg with an 0-2 delivery.
Choo drove in Cincinnati’s final run with a ninth-inning single against Carlos Marmol in the right-hander’s first home appearance with the Dodgers.
NATIONALS 9, PIRATES 7
WASHINGTON — Bryce Harper delivered the first game-ending homer of his career, a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth inning Thursday that ended Washington’s losing streak at six.
Harper drove a hanging slider over the wall just to the left of straightaway center with two outs off Bryan Morris (4-4), who earlier allowed a single to Kurt Suzuki.
Harper raised his right fist overhead as he rounded first base and was mobbed by a bouncing pack of teammates as he reached home plate.
Ian Krol (1-0) earned the win, despite being part of poor relief in the ninth that allowed the Pirates to erase a four-run deficit.
It was an eventful afternoon that included three errors by Pittsburgh infielders in the first inning and the ejections of Washington manager Davey Johnson and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle.
METS 7, BRAVES 4
NEW YORK — John Buck drove in three runs and Zack Wheeler beat Atlanta for the second time in seven major league starts as the New York Mets split a four-game series.
Daniel Murphy and Marlon Byrd three hits apiece for the Mets. But the news wasn’t all good for New York: Eric Young Jr., a spark in the leadoff spot since arriving last month, was pulled with pain in his right knee.
Wheeler (4-1) squandered a three-run lead by giving up homers to Dan Uggla and Freddie Freeman. But the prized rookie allowed only four hits in six innings after throwing 31 pitches in the first.
Kameron Loe (0-1) lost in relief.
CARDINALS 3, PHILLIES 1
ST. LOUIS — Lance Lynn allowed one run in seven innings and St. Louis scored three times in the third in a win over Philadelphia.
Matt Carpenter, Jon Jay and Matt Adams drove in runs for the Cardinals, who have won seven of nine.
Philadelphia has lost five in a row, tying a season high. The Phillies also dropped five straight from June 7-12.
St. Louis has the most wins in the majors at 62 and is a season-high 25 games over .500.
Lynn (12-5) had dropped four of his previous five decisions and was 3-4 with a 6.32 ERA in his past eight starts. Edward Mujica earned his 30th save in 32 opportunities. He struck out two and is tied with Pittsburgh’s Jason Grilli for the most saves in the NL.
St. Louis scored three times on four hits off Philadelphia starter Kyle Kendrick (9-7) in the third.
MARLINS 5, ROCKIES 3
DENVER — Rob Brantly scored on a wild pitch to break up a scoreless game in the eighth inning, Donovan Solano homered in a four-run ninth, and the Miami Marlins waited out a 93-minute rain delay to beat Colorado.
The Rockies, who dropped three of four to the Marlins, lost star Carlos Gonzalez after the third inning when he aggravated a sprain of the middle finger on his right hand. He is day to day.
Reliever Adam Ottavino (0-2) struck out the first two batters he faced in the eighth before Brantly singled. Greg Dobbs, batting for reliever Dan Jennings (1-1) singled and Ottavino threw a wild pitch in the dirt.
Steve Cishek got his 20th save in 22 chances.
PADRES 10, BREWERS 8
MILWAUKEE — Carlos Quentin and Jesus Guzman homered and the San Diego Padres got 16 hits on their way to beating Milwaukee.
Will Venable added two doubles for San Diego and made a key catch in center field.
Edinson Volquez (8-8) worked into the sixth inning. Huston Street, the Padres’ seventh pitcher, closed for his 18th save in 19 tries.
Yovani Gallardo (8-9) was tagged for six runs on eight hits and three walks in 3 2-3 innings.
DIAMONDBACKS 3, CUBS 1
PHOENIX — Aaron Hill drove in two runs with a homer and double, helping Arizona top the Chicago Cubs and earn a split of the four-game series.
Cole Gillespie got the start in left field for the Cubs after Alfonso Soriano was removed from the lineup, pending completion of a trade to the New York Yankees that was said to be close. Soriano missed his second straight game while the club worked on the deal.
Hill entered the game in a 4-for-31 slump over his previous eight games.
Wade Miley (7-8) worked 7 2-3 innings and didn’t give up a run until the seventh. He allowed only five hits and struck out four despite being hit in the back of his lower right leg with a batted ball in the third inning.
Brad Ziegler earned his fifth save.
Chicago scored its only run when Wellington Castillo doubled in Gillespie.
Carlos Villanueva (2-7) took the loss after lasting five innings and allowing three runs and six hits.
YANKEES 2, RANGERS 0
ARLINGTON, Texas — Hiroki Kuroda pitched seven scoreless innings, Mariano Rivera got gifts before posting another save and the New York Yankees beat Texas 2-0 on Thursday to split the four-game series.
After David Robertson worked a 1-2-3 eighth, Rivera pitched the ninth for his 33rd save this season, extending his career record to 641.
The Yankees took the lead for good when Brent Lillibridge’s RBI double in the sixth made it 1-0 off Derek Holland (8-6).
Kuroda (10-6) scattered six hits, striking out three and walking one. He is 3-0 with a 0.69 ERA in four July starts.
The Rangers honored the retiring Rivera in a ceremony before his last regular-season game in Texas, presenting him with a pair of cowboy boots inscribed with the Yankees logo, his name and No. 42. He was also given a cowboy hat and a $5,000 donation was made to the Mariano Rivera Foundation that helps needy children.
BLUE JAYS 4, ASTROS 0
TORONTO — Mark Buehrle pitched a two-hitter and the Toronto Blue Jays ended a season-worst seven-game losing streak, beating Houston.
The last-place Blue Jays had been 0-6 since the All-Star break and had dropped 14 of 18 overall.
The Astros have won just once since July 13 and have the worst record in baseball at 34-67. They’ve lost 18 of 22.
Buehrle (6-7) struck out a season-high nine — his highest strikeout total since he fanned a career-high 12 against Seattle in April 2005 — and walked two in his first complete game of the season.
Buehrle pitched his ninth career shutout, and first since throwing a perfect game against Tampa Bay in 2009.
Erik Bedard (3-8) lost his fifth straight start.
WHITE SOX 7, TIGERS 4
CHICAGO — Jake Peavy pitched into the eighth inning and the Chicago White Sox beat Justin Verlander and Detroit as the Tigers again played minus Miguel Cabrera.
Cabrera missed his third straight game because of an injured left hip flexor. The AL MVP left in the middle of Monday’s game.
Torii Hunter homered for the third time in the series. But the Tigers outfielder exited in the eighth and is day to day with a sore left Achilles.
Peavy (8-4), the subject of trade speculation as the July 31 deadline approaches, was replaced by Matt Lindstrom after allowing Brayan Pena homered to start the eighth.
Addison Reed allowed the tying run to get to the plate in the ninth but struck out Pena to pick up his 26th save in 30 tries.
Verlander (10-8) gave up seven runs and 11 hits in six innings.
ROYALS 7, ORIOLES 1
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jeremy Guthrie pitched six solid innings, and Billy Butler homered in Kansas City’s victory over Baltimore.
The Royals, who limped into the All-Star break with five consecutive defeats, went 5-2 on the homestand against the Orioles and AL Central Division-leading Detroit.
Guthrie (10-7), who won 47 games in five seasons with the Orioles, allowed six hits in six innings. He gave up one run, struck out five and walked one. Guthrie went 3-1 in July and his 10 victories are one shy of his career high, set in 2010 with the Orioles.
The Royals had 10 hits, including two each by rookie David Lough and Jarrod Dyson.
Butler homered, his ninth of the season, in the seventh inning off Francisco Rodriguez, who was making his Orioles’ debut after being acquired Tuesday from Milwaukee.
Miguel Gonzalez (8-4) lasted 4 2-3 innings, his shortest outing of the season that snapped his streak of eight straight quality starts. He allowed a season-high six runs and eight hits.
MARINERS 8, TWINS 2
SEATTLE — Hisashi Iwakuma allowed four hits in six shutout innings, and Seattle scored six runs in the second en route to a rout of Minnesota.
Iwakuma (10-4), who won his third straight decision, struck out nine and walked one. Since moving into the starting rotation on July 2, 2012, Iwakuma has gone 18-8 with a 2.78 ERA in 38 starts.
Against the Twins, Iwakuma is 4-0 and hasn’t allowed an earned run in 26 2-3 consecutive innings over his four starts. He has held the Twins to a .168 batting average with eight walks and 24 strikeouts.
Nick Franklin hit a three-run home run in the Mariners’ big second inning. Dustin Ackley had three hits, including two doubles, and two RBIs. Seattle, which has won nine of 10, has beaten the Twins six straight times at Safeco Field.
Twins starter Kevin Correia (7-7), chased after just 1 2-3 innings, allowed six runs and seven hits.
ANGELS 8, ATHLETICS 3
OAKLAND, Calif. — Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo each drove in two runs to power the Los Angeles Angels past Oakland.
C.J. Wilson (11-6) allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings for his third straight victory — the past two against Dan Straily (6-4) and the A’s. He struck out six and walked three.
Josh Hamilton was 1 for 5 with an RBI after missing three games with a stiff right ankle for the Angels, who had scored just seven runs total while losing three of their previous four.
The last time an opponent scored at least eight runs at the Oakland Coliseum was when the Angels lost 10-8 in 19 innings on April 29.
Derek Norris hit his sixth home run of the season and added another RBI. Straily gave up five runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings, striking out five and walking two.
Los Angeles had 12 hits and finished 6 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
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