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Los Angeles at Cincinnati

L.A. Dodgers (38-27) «0000230016112
Cincinnati (36-30)000001001291

Dodgers hand Reds' Leake first loss, take NL West lead

CBSSports.com wire reports

CINCINNATI -- Clayton Kershaw is sure pitching like a No. 1.

The former first-round draft pick extended his streak of solid starts on Wednesday night, outpitching rookie Mike Leake and leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-2 victory over the slumping Cincinnati Reds.

Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds

Scott Miller
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Miller: Hoo boy, tough night for the Reds

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Kershaw (7-3) won a matchup of promising, 22-year-old starters, giving up one run and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings. He's been on a tear lately, going 6-1 in his last eight starts with a 1.82 ERA.

With each win, the left-hander moves a little closer to being considered the Dodgers' ace.

"He certainly isn't afraid of it," manager Joe Torre said. "I'm more afraid of it than he is because I don't think it's fair at this point to stay he's going to lead us."

Kershaw went a combined 13-13 in his first two seasons. He's already one win away from matching his victory total from last season.

"Every year you try to get better," Kershaw said. "This year I've got a lot more confidence in my off-speed stuff. I feel I can throw a strike whenever I want to."

Andre Ethier hit a three-run homer -- his first since breaking a finger -- that sent Leake (5-1) to his first loss in the majors. Manny Ramirez added a solo homer in the ninth, and threw out a runner at the plate to help the Dodgers get under the Reds' skin a little bit more.

The Dodgers are 25-6 against the Reds since 2006, a team they've beaten like no other. They've won the first two games of the series by a combined 18-2, shutting down the NL's most prolific offense.

Frustration got to the Reds in the sixth inning.

With runners on first and third, Scott Rolen took a pitch that appeared to be several inches low. Plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt called it strike three, and Rolen went face-to-face, drawing a quick ejection. Manager Dusty Baker pushed his player away and took up his cause, waving his cap in his right hand while also getting pitched.

It was the first ejection for both this season. It was only the third ejection of Rolen's career.

"Scott hardly says anything," Baker said. "I saw it the same way he saw it. That was a big call."

Rolen, the Reds' hottest hitter, wasn't going to go down without an argument this time.

"I just felt like that could have been a game-changing at-bat right there," Rolen said.

Though in first plate in the NL Central for the last 10 days, the Reds have struggled. They fell to 3-6 on a homestand that concludes Thursday.

The Dodgers have been waiting for Ethier to regain his stroke. He homered on May 12 and was batting an NL-leading .392 when he broke his right pinkie finger during batting practice three days later. He was batting only .218 since returning on May 31.

"Ethier finally got his home run," Torre said. "Hopefully he can maybe go on a little bit of a tear. That would be nice."

James Loney added a two-run double off Leake, who has struggled in both of his starts against the Dodgers. He gave up nine hits and five runs in six innings, leaving with a 5-0 deficit. He also gave up five runs -- his career high -- in an 8-5 win over LA on April 22.

He got his first loss in his 13th start.

"I don't like them," Leake said. "I finally got the first one. Now it's out of the way and I can move on from it."

Leake was the eighth overall pick last June, and went directly to the majors. Kershaw was the seventh overall pick in 2006.


  • LH Hong-Chih Kuo got his second career save by getting the last five outs. He gave up Chris Heisey's third pinch-hit homer in the ninth.
  • The Dodgers are playing with an extra reliever for the next few days. Starter Chad Billingsley went on the 15-day DL with a groin injury. Reliever Travis Schlichting was called up. He'll likely go back to the minors on Saturday when starter Vicente Padilla comes off the DL.
  • Reds RHP Edinson Volquez will make his second rehab start at Class A on Thursday. Volquez had elbow reconstruction last August. He has completed a 50-game suspension for using a banned fertility substance.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Clayton Kershaw continues to dominate on the mound. He is 6-1 with a 1.82 ERA in his past eight starts.  (AP)
Clayton Kershaw continues to dominate on the mound. He is 6-1 with a 1.82 ERA in his past eight starts. (AP)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

A. Ethier
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1
Los Angeles

C. Kershaw
IP 7.1
H 7
ER 1
BB 1
K 7

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Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS5110002 .305
Russell Martin, C5220011 .262
Andre Ethier, RF5133012 .346
Manny Ramirez, LF4111113 .297
    Reed Johnson, LF0000000 .295
James Loney, 1B5022000 .306
Matt Kemp, CF5010033 .267
Casey Blake, 3B4010003 .264
Blake DeWitt, 2B2100201 .266
    Jamey Carroll, 2B0000000 .288
Clayton Kershaw, P3000002 .080
    Ronald Belisario, P0000000 .000
    Hong-Chih Kuo, P0000000 .000
2B - James Loney (22, Leake)
HR - Andre Ethier (12, Leake), Manny Ramirez (7, Smith)
SH - Clayton Kershaw (6)
RBI - Andre Ethier 3 (43), Manny Ramirez (33), James Loney 2 (43)
2-OUT RBI - Andre Ethier 3 (6), Manny Ramirez (10)
SB - Matt Kemp (10, 2nd base off Leake/Hernandez)
Team LOB - 9
Outfield Assists - Manny Ramirez 1
DP - Furcal
E - Casey Blake (10, Misplayed grounder), Blake DeWitt (4, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw (W,7-3) 7.1711170 2.96
Ronald Belisario0100000 4.44
Hong-Chih Kuo (S,1) 1.2111111 1.37
Pitches-Strikes - Clayton Kershaw 110-79, Ronald Belisario 2-2, Hong-Chih Kuo 25-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clayton Kershaw 6-10, Hong-Chih Kuo 1-2
Batters Faced - Clayton Kershaw 31, Ronald Belisario 1, Hong-Chih Kuo 6
Cincinnati Reds
Orlando Cabrera, SS5010001 .259
Brandon Phillips, 2B4120101 .310
Joey Votto, 1B4010022 .304
Scott Rolen, 3B3000013 .307
    Miguel Cairo, 3B1000000 .274
Jonny Gomes, LF3021000 .302
Jay Bruce, RF3010111 .268
Drew Stubbs, CF4000016 .243
Ramon Hernandez, C4010011 .292
Mike Leake, P1000010 .385
    Logan Ondrusek, P0000000 .000
   a- Micah Owings, PH1000010 .167
    Nick Masset, P0000000 .000
    Jordan Smith, P0000000 .000
   b- Chris Heisey, PH1111000 .314
a-struck out for Ondrusek in the 7th
b-homered for Smith in the 9th
2B - Jonny Gomes (13, Kershaw)
HR - Chris Heisey (4, Kuo)
SF - Jonny Gomes (7)
SH - Mike Leake (5)
RBI - Jonny Gomes (48), Chris Heisey (5)
Team LOB - 9
E - Brandon Phillips (2, Throwing)
Cincinnati Reds
Mike Leake (L,5-1) 6955341 3.02
Logan Ondrusek 1000010 7.53
Nick Masset 1000000 6.83
Jordan Smith 1211011 4.50
IBB - DeWitt by Mike Leake
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Leake 108-65, Logan Ondrusek 14-11, Nick Masset 9-5, Jordan Smith 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Leake 9-6, Logan Ondrusek 1-1, Nick Masset 1-2
Batters Faced - Mike Leake 31, Logan Ondrusek 3, Nick Masset 3, Jordan Smith 5
Game Information
Attendance - 23083
Game Time - 2:51
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Hunter Wendelstedt, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Brian Runge, Third Base - Mike Winters