J.D. Martinez and Freddie Freeman have been among the hottest hitters in baseball over the past month, and they both contributed with big swings on Tuesday night, only for the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen to implode in a 9-8 walk-off loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
The Dodgers are on their first three-game losing streak since April 7-9, and they had a nine-game winning streak against the Reds snapped. The Dodgers additionally saw their winning streak at Great American Ball Park come to an end at five games.
Max Muncy opened the scoring with an RBI double in the first inning, which was followed by a sacrifice fly from Martinez. David Peralta then extended his hitting streak to eight games with a two-out RBI single that extended the Dodgers’ lead to 3-0.
However, it quickly evaporated as Tony Gonsolin also struggled in the opening frame.
Two singles and walk resulted in the Reds loading the bases with one out, and Gonsolin then hit Spencer Steer with a pitch to bring a run in. Tyler Stephenson added onto Gonsolin’s woes with a game-tying two-run single before he could get through the inning.
Gosolin did manage to settle in from there, going through a stretch of retiring 11 of 13 batters faced.
The Dodgers eventually took advantage on Martinez’s leadoff home run in the fourth inning breaking the tie. Singles by Jason Heyward and Miguel Rojas, along with a Mookie Betts walk, loaded the bases.
Alex Young was brought in to face Freeman, who won the left-on-left matchup by driving a grand slam out to center field. The grand slam was Freeman’s second of the season and the Dodgers’ seventh.
Freeman, Muncy and James Outman are among the five players who have hit two grand slams this season. Freeman’s first was also the 300th home run of his career.
Muncy’s throwing error allowed the Reds to score a run in the fifth inning, they added another off Yency Almonte in the sixth, and continued to chip into their deficit with Brusdar Graterol on the mound in the seventh.
Graterol stranded runners at the corners to keep the Dodgers ahead 8-6 heading to the eighth inning. Evan Phillips stopped the Reds’ streak of scoring, but Caleb Ferguson walked in a run and hit a batter with the bases loaded to tie the game.
Shelby Miller then was summoned out of the bullpen, but he immediately gave up a walk-off RBI single to Matt McLain.
Dodgers unable to spoil Elly De La Cruz’s MLB debut
Top Reds prospect Elly De La Cruz started at third base and hit cleanup for his MLB debut in the series opener. He went 1-for-3 with two walks, a double and one strikeout.
The Dodgers didn’t retire De La Cruz until the sixth inning, when he grounded out while representing the tying run at the plate.
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