The Cincinnati Reds have one among baseball’s lowest payrolls, one among its least productive lineups and, when measured by the ERA crew, the game’s worst pitching workers.
They’re thus far out of the playoff image, even their executives appear to have raised the white flag, asserting this week they’ve booked a weeklong TopGolf occasion at their dwelling stadium – in the midst of October.
Sweeping the Reds, subsequently, will doubtless not be one of many Dodgers’ best accomplishments this season.
However for a crew that had been struggling on the plate, battling accidents throughout the roster and enjoying lots of uninspired baseball in current weeks, the dominance they displayed in three straight wins this week – punctuated by a 10-5 rout Thursday that featured a season-high 5 dwelling runs from the lineup – might have hardly come at a greater time.
“Just a few weeks in the past, we had a tough patch,” middle middle Cody Bellinger mentioned. “Now we’re hitting like we should always.”
After pulling away late within the first two video games of the sequence, the Dodgers surged in entrance early Thursday.
Bellinger opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly within the prime of the second, earlier than Freddie Freeman added to the cushion with a two-run homer within the third – the primary baseman’s third blast within the final 4 video games and eighth of the season.
Bellinger then got here by way of once more within the fourth. Mired in an 0-for-14 hunch and batting eighth within the order for the primary time since April, the slugger responded by getting the inexperienced mild in a 3-and-0 rely in opposition to Reds starter Hunter Greene, belting a two-run homer to proper.
“At all times good to affix the hit parade,” he mentioned with a smile, after including two singles later to complete three for 4.
Certainly, the Dodgers lineup was removed from completed.
Max Muncy added a towering solo blast within the fifth, breaking out of his personal current struggles – he had simply 5 hits in his earlier 34 at-bats relationship to his five-RBI return from the injured checklist earlier this month – along with his first three -hit recreation of the season.
“It was a extremely good day,” Muncy mentioned. “We’re engaged on a few issues mechanically and attempting to get again to the place I should be. That is why as we speak is a really validating day, having the outcomes there. ”
Down the stretch, Will Smith and Trayce Thompson added solo dwelling runs to assist the Dodgers (43-25) draw back.
“It simply reveals what we’re able to once we play crew baseball,” supervisor Dave Roberts mentioned. “Up and down the road, I simply thought we had the correct intentions.”
On the mound, Clayton Kershaw additionally supplied up encouraging indicators, persevering with to look sharp in his return from a again harm with a six-inning, one-run, seven-strikeout begin that lowered his ERA to 2.00 – the very best it has been by way of eight begins in a season since 2016.
Kershaw mentioned he feels fully constructed up once more after his third begin again as nicely.
“I really feel like I’m fairly good to go now so far as pitch rely, sturdiness,” he mentioned. “All that kind of stuff.”
Though Phil Bickford had a disastrous seventh inning, giving up 4 runs to the Reds (23-46) that tightened the rating late, the Dodgers nonetheless left Cincinnati with the type of confidence increase that had eluded them throughout a 7-11 skid earlier than this sequence.
They not solely received three consecutive video games for the primary time in a month, however did so by scoring at the very least eight runs in three straight for the primary time all season.
“I believed this was our greatest offensive sequence we’ve had all 12 months,” Roberts mentioned.
They not solely racked up 42 hits, however acquired higher performances from beforehand slumping hitters comparable to Muncy, Bellinger and Justin Turner, who additionally had three hits Thursday.
“I simply suppose all three of these guys went about it the correct means,” Roberts mentioned. “The strategy, the swings had been actually good. And so they acquired rewarded. So credit score to these three. They have been grinding. ”
And whereas they’re nonetheless lacking Mookie Betts, their different two superstars delivered, with Freeman ending the sequence with 10 RBIs and Trea Turner amassing his second three-hit recreation in three days.
“Total, it appears like we’ve acquired a full squad going,” Kershaw mentioned. “Which is fairly enjoyable.”
This story initially appeared within the Los Angeles Occasions.