McCoy: Reds rally for second straight win over Dodgers

If the Cincinnati Reds are proving nothing more, they are proving there are no pushovers in major league baseball.

And they are showing that to the Los Angeles Dodgers, arguably the best team in baseball these days.

They faced Walker Buehler on Tuesday night in Dodger Stadium, one of baseball’s best pitchers. It didn’t faze them as they came from behind twice to score a 6-5 victory.

The Reds arrived in Los Angeles spinning their wheels on a seven-game losing streak, but refused to buckle despite trailing 3-1 and 5-3.

The turn-around hit was provided by Joey Votto, a two-out, two-run double in the seventh. Votto turned a 5-4 deficit into a 6-5 lead.

Credit: Ashley Landis

Credit: Ashley Landis

The Reds abused Buehler for five runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings, surviving 10 strikeouts. Buehler, a Lexington, Ky. native, grew up rooting for the Reds and was a fan of former Reds pitchers Johnny Cueto, Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo.

He was not a fan Tuesday night.

It was Cincinnati’s second straight win over the Dodgers, who themselves are reeling with seven losses in their last nine games.

The Dodgers faithful were barely in their seats when Jesse Winker turned on the first pitch of the game and rocketed Buehler’s get-ahead fast ball into the right field seats.

Not only did it give the Reds a 1-0 lead, it extended Winker’s hitting streak to 12 games and it was his third home run in three games.

Winker finished the night with three hits and two RBI, lifting his batting average to a league-leading .397.

Reds starter Jeff Hoffman struggled all night to locate home plate. After getting the first two outs in the bottom of the first, he walked Justin Turner and Max Muncy.

He escaped, though, when Will Smith flied out. Hoffman threw a first-pitch ball one to the first seven Dodgers hitters.

Hoffman walked two more in the fourth, but this time it was to the inning’s first two batters. And he didn’t escape. Smith, who hadn’t driven in a run since April 5, the first weekend of the season, crushed one into the great beyond, a three-run home run to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.

The Reds had Buehler dazed in the fourth when Nick Castellanos doubled and Votto walked, putting runners on third and second with no outs.

But. . .Mike Moustakas grounded to short and Buehler struck out Tyler Naquin and Alex Blandino.

Three runs is usually enough for Buehler, but not on this night.

The Reds tied it with two runs in the fifth. Buehler hit Tucker Barnhart to start the inning. Kyle Farmer ripped a double to right field, putting runners on third and second with no outs.

Pinch-hitter Tyler Stephenson grounded to second, scoring Barnhart. Once again, Winker picked on Buehler’s first pitch and singled to right to tie it, 3-3.

Hoffman was done after four lnnings and posted a unique line. He gave up only one hit, but it was Smith’s three-run homer. His line was four innings, three runs, one hit, five walks and three strikeouts.

The Dodgers barged back ahead in the sixth with two runs against Reds relief pitcher Jose De Leon.

He hit Smith to start the inning and Chris Taylor doubled into the left field corner, putting runners on third and second with no outs.

De Leon struck out Gavin lux, but Matt Beaty, 2 for 14 on the season, drove a two-strike change-up seeing-eye single between second and first. It produced two runs and a 5-3 LA lead.

The Reds scored three runs in the seventh and rid themselves of Buehler. Barnhart opened with a double to right and scored on Farmer’s single, pulling the Reds to within one at 5-4.

Buehler struck out pinch-hitter Eugenio Suarez, who didn’t start the game, Buehler’s 10th strikeout.

LA manager Dave Roberts removed Buehler and brought in left-hander Scott Alexander to face Winker. Winker hit into a force play, but Castellanos singled to put runners on second and first with two outs.

Votto worked the count to 3-and-2 and cracked a two-run double to right field to push the Reds to a 6-5 lead.

The Reds’ two best relief pitchers, Lucas Sims and Tejay Antone, were unavailable due to usage during Monday’s 5-3 10-inning victory.

That forced manager David Bell to go with Carson Fulmer, Heath Hembree and Sean Doolittle over the last three innings.

Fulmer pitched a 1-2-3 seventh for the Reds and escaped a scare. With two outs, Chris Taylor drove one to deep right, but Castellanos chased it down as he arrived at the fence.

Hembree issued a one-out walk in the eighth, then struck out pinch-hitter Edwin Rios and the ever-dangerous Mookie Betts.

Doolittle faced the meat of the Dodgers order and buzzed through it. He coaxed a pop-up from Corey Seager, caught Turner looking at strike three and got Muncy to pop up to end it, preserving a hotly contested game.

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