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May 24, 2024 2:19 am

After much-needed rest, Dodgers open series vs. Reds

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Fresh from their first off day in two weeks, the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers look to regain momentum when they visit the Cincinnati Reds on Friday in the opener of a three-game series.

The Dodgers lost 6-0 to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday in the finale of a seven-game homestand, getting shut out for just the third time this season.

It was also the final game of 13 straight without a day off, going 7-6 in that span. The Diamondbacks won the final two games of the series as the Dodgers finished their homestand with a 4-3 mark.

Los Angeles opened the homestand by taking three of four from Cincinnati, including the final three of the series last weekend.

“I thought it was gonna be great. You know, we were 7-4 for a minute there,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “And then the last few games, I just thought we just didn’t play well, didn’t swing the bat, and we lost a series.

“I think overall, I thought it was still a good stretch for us, I do, but there’s certainly a lot of things that we can be better at in each facet of the game. But I think, by and large, the pitching has been really solid. And so, that’s something I’m gonna hang my hat on.”

Before surrendering 13 runs in two losses to Arizona, the Dodgers had allowed just 32 runs over their previous 11 games. The Dodgers have been impacted by the loss of Max Muncy, who went on the injured list with a right oblique strain last Friday.

The Dodgers were held to four runs or fewer six times in their past eight games. Still, the Dodgers lead the NL West by 6 1/2 games over the San Diego Padres.

The Reds, on the other hand, have plummeted to the basement of the NL Central thanks to a stretch of 26 games in which they have won just six times.

On Thursday, the Reds rallied from a three-run deficit to tie the Padres, only to fall in 10 innings, 6-4.

The loss clinched Cincinnati’s eighth consecutive series loss since splitting a four-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies.

“This is a results-oriented business, not the ‘try league,'” Reds catcher Luke Maile said. “You have to get it done. And within that, there’s a lot of process stuff that we’re sticking to, and we will, because we’re adults, and we’re big leaguers.

“But we’ve got a bunch of guys who are really talented, No. 1, and on top of it, we care about each other. There’s no quit in here. It’s not going to happen.”

The Dodgers send left-hander James Paxton (5-0, 2.84 ERA) to the mound in the series opener. Paxton allowed three runs on seven hits over six-plus innings and received a no-decision in Los Angeles’ 7-3 win over Cincinnati last Friday.

Paxton will make his third career start against Cincinnati, posting a 0-0 record with a 3.27 ERA in his previous two outings.

The Reds counter with right-hander Graham Ashcraft (3-3, 4.25). Last Saturday at Los Angeles, Ashcraft was charged with three runs on three hits over five innings and took the loss in Cincinnati’s 4-0 setback.

Ashcraft is 1-2 with a 3.95 ERA in three previous starts against the Dodgers.

–Field Level Media

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