Dodgers, Reds square off looking to shift trajectory

MLB

The Los Angeles Dodgers spent nearly 15 hours engaging the rival San Diego Padres in a weekend series filled with notable moments.

It did not include many wins for the Dodgers.

Coming off their first series loss of the season, the Dodgers look to get back on track Monday night when they host the slumping Cincinnati Reds in the opener of a three-game series.

Los Angeles is 2-5 in its past seven games, which constitutes a small slump for the defending champions. Before scoring 12 runs in the final two games against San Diego, it scored 11 runs in the previous six games.

On Sunday, the Dodgers squandered a six-run lead and wound up with an 8-7, 11-inning loss that took four hours, 59 minutes.It was the first time since Aug. 10, 2011 against the Philadelphia Phillies that Los Angeles lost a game where they held at least a six-run lead.

Chris Taylor and Sheldon Neuse homered while the Dodgers totaled 10 hits. Los Angeles also went 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position and struck out a season-high 16 times, capping a weekend where the Dodgers struck out 47 times.

“They outplayed us,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “All the games are close. But seven games, they’ve outplayed us. But that’s baseball, so we have to regroup and get ready for the Reds.”

Cincinnati heads to Los Angeles on a seven-game losing streak — and a five-game road losing streak. The Reds are looking to bounce back from scoring six runs in a three-game sweep at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Cincinnati is coming off a 5-2 loss on Sunday that featured the ejection of manager David Bell after rookie Jonathan India was plunked by Jack Flaherty.

“Everyone is staying together,” Bell said. “Everyone who has been around this game has been through these things before where you go through a stretch where you’re not winning games and there’s nothing about it that’s acceptable or fun or anything like that.

The Reds are hitting .238 in this skid and have been without Mike Moustakas (viral infection) since April 14. It is possible he will return in this series. The Reds are also waiting for Eugenio Suarez to get rolling after his average dropped to .141 Sunday.

Julio Urias (3-0, 2.81 ERA) starts for Los Angeles and looks to join Flaherty as the National League’s second four-game winner. On Tuesday, he turned in an impressive outing when he allowed a hit and recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts in seven innings of a 1-0 win at Seattle.

Urias is 6-0 with a 3.12 ERA over his last 15 (14 starts) regular-season games. Including last year’s postseason, he is 10-0 with a 2.69 ERA in his last 21 games (16 starts).

The left-hander’s only previous start against Cincinnati was Aug. 21, 2016 when he allowed six hits in six innings of a 4-0 win.

Tyler Mahle (1-1, 1.74) is hoping the Reds can protect a lead for him this time. On Wednesday, he allowed two hits and got nine strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings and left with a three-run lead but wound up with a no-decision when Cincinnati took an 8-5, 10-inning loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Mahle is 2-1 with a 2.12 ERA in three career starts against Los Angeles.

–Field Level Media

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