Alex Verdugo may not have an everyday starting role, but he’s showing why he’s the Dodgers’ top prospect every time he gets a chance. On Tuesday night, Verdugo went 3-4 with 3 RBIs in the Dodgers’ 6-1 win over the Reds.
The Dodgers started the scoring early when Verdugo hit an infield single in the first inning. The Dodgers had runners on first and third with two outs when Verdugo hit a ground ball that should have ended the inning. But thanks to indecision by the Reds’ second baseman and Kiké Hernández hustling down the line, everyone was safe and a run scored.
The Dodgers took a much larger lead in the second inning, attacking the Reds’ pitcher for 3 runs. Joc Pederson, who has been red hot this year, hit a two-run homer to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. Pederson now is tied with Christian Yelich for the second most home runs in the National League. The Dodgers scored another run in the inning on an RBI single by Hernández.
Verdugo’s other two RBIs came in the 7th inning when the Dodgers had runners on first and second with two outs. In a lefty-lefty match-up, Verdugo took the approach of a veteran and doubled to the opposite field. Both runners scored and the Dodgers took a 6-1 lead.
As always, the key to winning isn’t just hitting, the Dodgers also benefited from great pitching, starting with Kenta Maeda, but continuing in the bullpen as well. Maeda went 6.2 innings, allowing just one earned run on four hits with 5 strikeouts. Then, when he was done, the bullpen held up their end of the deal, throwing 2.1 scoreless innings.
The Dodgers will go for the sweep on Wednesday at 12:10 pm. Walker Buehler will take the mound for the Dodgers in front of the home crowd against Sonny Gray for the Reds. Buehler has been pretty bad this year, but now that he’s had his “spring training,” I’m expecting him to bounce back today. Gray was traded to the Reds after a bad season with the Yankees, but Cincinnati clearly likes him because they gave him a 3-year contract extension.