Antone, who had a 2.80 ERA for the Reds last season in his first year in the big leagues, entered the game in the eighth and expected to pitch only one inning. He instead pitched the final three. He walked two batters but didn’t allow a hit and struck out three.
In seven appearances and 13 2/3 innings, Antone has allowed one earned run on four hits. His 0.66 ERA is by far the best in the Reds bullpen for anyone who has made at least three appearances. This was the second time this season he has pitched at least three innings.
“To come in and throw three innings and shut out any team at the end of the game, the odds are against you,” Reds manager David Bell said, “but when you do it again this team, it says so much more. He came through for us in a big way. It was a big one.”
The Reds (10-12) won for the first time since April 17 when they were 9-5. The victory against the defending World Series champion Dodgers (15-8) followed three-game sweeps at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks and St. Louis Cardinals.
For one day at least, the Reds felt relief after a winless week.
“It felt like the tension was a little bit less or relieved a little bit,” Antone said, “but at the same time, we expect to win these games. We know when we click we’re better than the Dodgers. It’s just about expressing it and executing it on the field.”