Walker Buehler was sailing through the best start of his young career before running into trouble in a two-run sixth inning that led to a 4-1 victory for the last-place Cincinnati Reds over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The win extended the Reds’ winning streak to three games.
Buehler stranded a pair of runners in the first inning after allowing back-to-back two-out singles to Joey Votto and Scooter Gennett. They later factored heavily into Buehler’s demise in the sixth inning.
Votto worked a seven-pitch at-bat that ended with a base hit to keep the inning alive. Gennett then landed the knockout punch by driving a go-ahead two-run double over Joc Pederson’s head in center field.
Buehler, who had been efficient for much of the night, needed 35 pitches to get through the sixth. Before allowing a one-out single to Jesse Winker in that inning, Buehler retired 13 batters in a row.
He’d also extended a scoreless streak to 15 innings, a stretch that spanned across three starts. Buehler finished Thursday’s outing with just the two runs allowed on five hits, and collected eight strikeouts for a second consecutive start to tie a career high. The loss was his first this season.
Billy Hamilton tacked on insurance with a two-out RBI triple in the seventh inning off Pedro Baez, and Gennett tagged Daniel Hudson for a solo homer in the eighth.
While Buehler failed to protect the Dodgers’ 1-0 lead, the offense shoulders the brunt of the blame. They loaded the bases in the each the first and second innings but only managed to scratch across one run.
That came on Chase Utley’s two-out base hit in the first. Reds starter and Southern California native Tyler Mahle got Buehler to groundout in the third, stranding two runners, and finished his five innings of work by retiring seven in a row.
The Dodgers left eight men on base and went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, continuing with what’s been a troubling trend this season. They had just one baserunner after the third inning, which was wiped out on a Yasmani Grandal double play.