The Los Angeles Dodgers entered Monday’s afternoon contest attempting to leave Great American Ball Park with a series split and finish with a winning road trip. For the Cincinnati Reds, they looked to move on from having their five-game winning streak snapped.
After opening Sunday’s contest with a home run, Chase Utley continued his success with a leadoff single to right field. Corey Seager followed with single to center field, extending his hitting streak to 13 games.
With the stage set for Adrian Gonzalez, the first baseman did not disappoint. On a first-pitch 91 mph fastball, Gonzalez crushed it for a three-run shot to right field. The homer was Gonzalez’s sixth of his career off Homer Bailey, and it extended his hitting streak to 15 games.
After Joc Pederson drew a walk, Howie Kendrick knocked a base hit into right field to put runners on the corners. Andrew Toles extended the Dodgers’ lead to 4-0 with a sacrifice fly.
Scott Kazmir, who’s struggles in the first inning are well-documented, rebounded from issuing a leadoff walk to Billy Hamilton. However, Kazmir was let down by Toles as he never saw a routine fly ball to right field.
It landed some 20 feet behind him, allowing Hamilton to easily score on Adam Duvall’s RBI triple. Toles started in right field because Josh Reddick was scratched with a jammed middle right finger.
Kazmir found himself in a bit of trouble in the second inning after allowing a leadoff double to Scott Schebler. After retiring the next two batters, Kazmir walked Bailey to put two on. Nothing came of it, however, as Hamilton flied out to end the inning.
Pederson smoked a leadoff single to the base of the wall in right field in the third. Kendrick then collected his second hit of the game to give the Dodgers another scoring threat. Toles followed with an RBI single, and Rob Segedin’s sacrifice fly pushed a run across.
That marked the end of the day for Bailey, who completed just 2.1 innings in his fifth start back from Tommy John surgery. Josh Smith took over and retired Kazmir and Utley to keep the Reds’ deficit at 6-1.
That was key as Cincinnati answered back in the bottom of the third. Jose Peraza’s leadoff double was followed by a Joey Votto RBI single. Kazmir then dug himself into a deeper hole, walking Duvall to put two runners on with no outs.
After retiring Brandon Phillips, Kazmir was hurt by some bad luck as Schebler was jammed but fought the pitch off for an RBI bloop single into center field. A similar scenario unfolded two batters later, with Tucker Barnhart hitting a flare single.
Kazmir was removed after that at-bat, with 2.2 innings pitched his shortest start of the season. Jesse Chavez needed just one pitch to retire Smith. Peraza and Votto combined for back-to-back hits in the fourth, with the former hitting a one-out single, and the latter an RBI double.
That cut the Dodgers’ lead to 6-5 through four innings. Los Angeles then erupted for six runs in the fifth behind a barrage of home runs. Toles hit a two-run shot for the first homer of his Major League career, then Segedin followed with a solo blast for his first career home run.
They’re the first players in Dodgers history to hit their first Major League home runs back-to-back. Two batters later, Seager chipped in with a towering two-run homer.
The home run was Seager’s 22nd this season, which tied him with Glenn Wright for the Dodgers franchise record for most home runs in a single season. Jumbo Diaz replaced Smith but it didn’t slow the Dodgers as Gonzalez greeted him with a solo homer.
Their four home runs in a single inning was a first since doing so against the San Diego Padres in September 2006. The Reds scored a pair in the bottom of the sixth on a Votto RBI triple and Duvall sacrifice fly.
Gonzalez added to his big day with a three-run homer in the seventh, extending the Dodgers’ lead to 15-7. The three-home run game was Gonzalez’s second of his career.
Yasmani Grandal joined the onslaught by following with a solo blast to straightaway center field, giving Los Angeles their third set of back-to-back home runs on the day. Seager’s fourth hit of the day was an RBI single in the eighth inning.
Gonzalez tacked on another run with a groundout, extending the Dodgers’ lead to 18-7. Gonzalez extended his RBI total to eight, which was a career high. Bud Norris allowed a leadoff double, and one-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth.
With the game seemingly out of reach, Reds outfielder Tyler Holt threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning. After recording the final out in the eighth, Josh Fields remained in the game for the bottom of the ninth and allowed one run before finishing out the Dodgers’ 18-9 victory.
Their 18 runs scored were the most since scoring 19 on Sept. 28, 2006 against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.