Reds sweep Series

Dodger fans hadn't finished putting catsup, mustard, onions and relish on their Dodger Dogs (doesn't everyone fix them that way?) by the time the Reds had scored four runs to end the game. Well, it was in the first inning, but it was over anyway. Cincinnati rode that lead to a 6-3 win, a sweep the series and increased the Dodgers' losing streak to four straight. Late homers by David Ross and Jose Hernandez changed only the final score in front of another big crowd, 41,479, at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers were slowed by poor starting pitching and were just 2-for-22 with runners in scoring position in the series. Milton Bradley, Shawn Green, Adrian Beltré and Paul Lo Duca -- the Nos. 3-4-5-6 hitters -- were a combined 2-for-15 on Sunday.

The Dodgers were swept at home only once last year, by San Diego. But they are still in first place in the National League West, are the only NL West team that played better than .500 over the past 10 games and hold a two-game lead over the Padres.

Despite dropping the three game series to the Reds, the Dodgers are 9-3 in series play this year after going 21-25-6 a year ago.

So much for the positives.

Jeff Weaver gave his New York Yankees impersonation, falling behind in the first inning, this time by four runs. It meant hits, walks, runs and boos. Weaver (2-5) recovered after the first inning, but it was too late. He threw 105 pitches in his five innings and his ERA moved up to 5.07. He has an 11.25 ERA in the first inning and 3.89 ERA after that.

Over the last four games, Weaver, Hideo Nomo and Kazuhisa Ishii gave the Dodgers starts of 1.1, four and five innings.

Injuries have caused the Dodgers to get little production from the middle of the lineup. Leadoff hitter Dave Roberts is disabled, run producer Juan Encarnacion missed his third consecutive game with a sore shoulder and Adrian Beltré's bat has cooled.

Beltré, the hottest hitter in baseball a week ago, is in a 3-for-21 (.143) slump. Encarnacion hit .167 during the homestand before coming out, Green hit .167 and Milton Bradley hit .208. Paul Lo Duca was 1-for-13.

Before the game, Tracy said that Weaver was as strong a starter as the Dodgers have had this year, but then in the first the Reds batted around in a 38-pitch nightmare. Weaver's first-inning ERA this year is 11.25. The rest of the game, he's at 3.89.

"I didn't have command of my fastball and sinker, my best pitches, so I had to go to breaking stuff the rest of the game. I just didn't have it today."--Jeff Weaver.

L.A. trimmed the deficit to one run with two outs in the seventh when pinch hitter Joe Thurston hit his first major-league triple and Jose Hernandez had a pinch-hit, two-run homer. It ended a string of 18 consecutive at-bats dating to Friday in which the Dodgers had failed to drive in a runner from scoring position.

It was Hernandez's fourth HR of the year in only 45 at-bats, cutting the lead to 4-3. Hernandez is hitting .356 with a team-high .667 slugging percentage.

The Reds got those runs back in the eighth off Guillermo Mota.

The Dodgers are off today and then return to the road with a nine-game trip to Philadelphia, Atlanta and Milwaukee the next 11 days. They'll bring a major league-best 11-4 road record with them.

Dodger Blue Notes--Left fielder Dave Roberts moved another step closer to being activated from the disabled list when he ran on a treadmill Sunday. Since he left the lineup, the Dodgers are batting .243 (10-for-41) in the leadoff spot. Cesar Izturis is 4-for-21 (.190) with two walks, Jason Grabowski is 4-for-15 (.267) with one walk and Alex Cora is 2-for-5 (.400) with one walk. The team's record in that time is 6-4. ... Juan Encarnacion missed his third consecutive game with a sore shoulder from the combination of an injury suffered diving for a ball and the injection of dye to take an MRI. ... Paul Shuey, another on the comeback trail, also continues making progress, although he has a longer timetable. Shuey, recovering from a partially torn thumb tendon, is hoping to be back by June. ... Jason Werth, recovering from a lingering pulled oblique muscle, begins a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday. ... Paul Lo Duca, Shawn Green, Milton Bradley and Adrian Beltré filmed a congratulatory spot for the Lakers to use at Staples Center. With a basketball in hand, Lo Duca -- who lives in San Antonio during the offseason -- implored the Lakers to win the NBA title. ... Robin Ventura played in his 1,999th career game Sunday. He pinch hit in the ninth and struck out looking. ... The Dodgers have allowed just three home runs in the past 121 innings. ... In 36 games, the Dodgers bullpen has yet to suffer a loss. Oakland's relief corps went 40 games without a loss in 1989. ... After a week of inactivity and without a lead, all Eric Gagné got Sunday was a little work. The Dodgers had won the previous 33 games in which he pitched.

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories