Joc Pederson started the Dodger offense with a solo home run and Justin Turner and Yasmani Grandal collected three RBI apiece, as the Dodgers routed the Reds 8-1 in the final game of the series. Ross Stripling allowed one run over 3.1 innings in his first start off the DL and the Dodger bullpen held the Reds scoreless over 5.2 innings.
Dodger fans began to worry in the first inning when José Peraza hit a solo home run off Stripling. We began to fear that the game would end the same way the previous six had, a Dodger loss. But Stripling settled in after that, allowing just two more baserunners.
Pederson’s fourth-inning home run sparked the Dodgers’ offense, prompting them to score eight unanswered runs. Reds’ pitcher, Anthony DeSclafani, threw a fastball in Pederson wheelhouse and paid for it. Pederson drove the ball into the seats in center field, tying the game at one.
Grandal added to the Dodger lead in the first inning with an RBI double. The Dodgers had a runner on first base when a fan interfered with a ball that Grandal had put in play. The umpires decided that Max Muncy would have scored if the ball hadn’t been interfered with, so they ruled that he could score. After replay, the call was upheld and the Dodgers led 2-1. It was their first lead of the series.
Grandal collected two more RBIs with singles in back-to-back innings. In the fifth, he gave the Dodgers a 5-1 lead with an RBI single to right field. Then, in the next inning, Grandal hit a single with the bases loaded and one run scored, giving the Dodgers an 8-1 lead.
Turner also collected three RBI. In the fifth inning, Turner drove in two runs on a single. He hit the ball into center field where Billy Hamilton made his best effort to throw out Pederson, trying to score the second run on the plate. Pederson beat the tag by a fraction of a second, giving the Dodgers a 4-1 lead.
Turner then collected his third RBI of the game in the sixth inning with an RBI double.
What Was Different?
The Dodgers have been feast or famine lately. It’s been either home runs or nothing at all. In the previous two games of this series, we saw the negative effects of this way of hitting. So what changed in the final game? Here’s what the players said:
Joc Pederson: “In the past week or so, we’ve scored a lot of runs on just home runs and haven’t done the best job of hitting runners in. J.T.’s two RBIs on a single up the middle was huge just to get the flow going so we don’t have to rely on the long ball. Situational hitting is key in big games.”
Justin Turner: “We’re all well aware of the conversations going on about the boom or bust, the hot or cold, the all home runs or nothing. Today, obviously, we had a lot of hits in scoring position and good results.”
Kenley Jansen officially is back with the Dodgers after missing the series in Colorado for precautionary reasons. In the first two games of the series, he was there but never was put into a game. Jansen pitched the ninth inning, allowing no baserunners with one strikeout. He did, however, make everyone nervous when Joey Votto hit a ball to the warning track.
The Dodgers will look to build some momentum against the Cardinals in a series with huge playoff influence. Because of this, Clayton Kershaw will start for the Dodgers against Austin Gomber. Kershaw hasn’t allowed more than two runs per start since July 15. Gomber has a 2.93 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP in 61.1 innings this year. In his last start against the Dodgers, Gomber allowed two earned runs over five innings. The game will begin at 4:15 pm.