The Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitching staff is doing an impressive job of holding down the powerful offense of the Cincinnati Reds, setting the team up for a three-game sweep. The Dodgers will try to complete the sweep behind Kenta Maeda when they visit the Reds for the finale on Sunday.
Cincinnati has received a total of 62 home runs from the middle of its order, with Joey Votto (19), Adam Duvall (15), Eugenio Suarez (10) and Scott Schebler (18) supplying the power, but did not manage a homer from any of the four and totaled three runs in dropping the first two games to Los Angeles. The Reds have lost eight straight overall - a streak that began with a three-game sweep in Los Angeles last weekend - and scored fewer than three runs in each of their last four contests. The Dodgers had no trouble finding their power stroke as they belted four blasts in Saturday’s 10-2 rout, including a pair by Yasiel Puig and rookie sensation Cody Bellinger’s 19th. Cincinnati will try to salvage the finale behind veteran Bronson Arroyo while Los Angeles briefly returns Maeda to the rotation.
TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, SportsNet LA (Los Angeles), FSN Ohio (Cincinnati)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers RH Kenta Maeda (4-3, 4.95 ERA) vs. Reds RH Bronson Arroyo (3-5, 7.01)
Los Angeles is giving the rest of its rotation an extra day of rest by inserting Maeda back into the rotation after he was pulled out earlier this month. The native of Japan did not last more than five innings in any of his last three starts and posted a 5.16 ERA in 10 turns before making one appearance in long relief. That came against the Reds on June 9, and Maeda ended up earning a save while holding Cincinnati to one run on three hits in four innings.
Arroyo appears to be an unlikely candidate to hold down the Dodgers’ offense after he was knocked around for nine runs and 13 hits in 4 2/3 innings on Monday by San Diego, which ranks last in the majors in runs scored. The 40-year-old has surrendered a major league-high 22 home runs and is allowing opponents to hit .313. Arroyo has completed six innings just once in his last six outings and hasn’t won since defeating San Francisco on May 5.
1. The Reds are 1-for-23 with runners in scoring position in the series.
2. Bellinger has recorded seven home runs and 12 RBIs in his last seven games.
3. Votto is enjoying an 11-game hitting streak.
PREDICTION: Dodgers 9, Reds 5