It was a third consecutive win for the Dodgers and with Arizona dumping San Diego it provided Los Angeles with a three game bulge over the second place Padres in the volitile National League West with only 31 games remaining on the regular schedule.
Two rookies and a near-rookie did the Reds in this night. Rookie of the Year candidate Andre Ethier, batting sixth, went 3 for 4 with a RBI single. Catcher Russell Martin, hitting seventh, hit a two-run home run. A near-forgotten Jason Repko, in the No. 8 spot, went 3-or-4 with a two-run single.
For the most part, the Dodger bullpen had as much trouble as Penny but stopper-in-waiting Jonathan Broxton rode to the rescue to record save number three.
After Penny (14-7) struggled through five innings, allowing four hits and five walks, Joe Beimel worked a shutout sixth. Elmer Dessens was tapped for three runs before leaving with one out in the eighth, Brett Tomko walked a pair and gave up a two-run homer before Broxton finished the last 1.2 innings, fanning three in the process, including the final batter with the tying run on second base.
The Reds have to accept some of the credit for the Dodger win, leaving four runners in scoring position in the first five innings.
Martin hit a two-run homer off Reds starter and former Dodger minor leaguer Chris Michalak (1-2) was KO'ed after four innings and allowed four runs on seven hits. Michalak spend most of the 2001 season with the AAA Albuquerque Dukes.
Nomar Garciaparra and Jeff Kent hit consecutive ground-rule doubles for a 3-1 lead in the fourth and Ethier's RBI single scored Kent for a three-run lead.
Repko' bloop two-run single with the bases loaded in the seventh for a 6-1 lead and it looked like money in the bank to the suddenly-plush Dodgers.
Brad Penny (14-7) tied a career high for victories after overcoming early control problems and pulled into a tie for the NL lead in wins.
Former Dodger rookie of the year Todd Hollandsworth had three RBIs for Cincinnati, two on an eighth-inning single off of Elmer Dessens.
The Dodgers defense turned two crucial double plays in the second and third innings and added a third during he game. And Hollandsworth was nailed stealing home to end another inning as 11 Cincinnati runners were stranded.
Score by innings Cincinnati 000 100 040-5 Dodgers 020 200 20x-6 Dodgers ab r h bi ave Furcal, SS 3 0 0 0 .282 Lofton, CF 5 0 0 0 .308 Lugo, 3B 4 0 1 0 .297 Garciaparra, 1B 3 1 1 0 .321 Kent, 2B 3 2 2 1 .269 Ethier, LF 4 2 3 1 .339 Martin, C 3 1 2 2 .288 Repko, RF 4 0 3 2 .273 Penny, P 1 0 0 0 .218 Beimel, P 0 0 0 0 .000 Drew, PH 0 0 0 0 .279 Dessens, P 1 0 0 0 .000 Tomko, P 0 0 0 0 .120 Broxton, P 0 0 0 0 .000 Totals 31 6 12 6 Reds 34 5 10 5 Error- Penny. 2B- Garciaparra (26), Kent (20). HR- Martin (8). RBI- Martin 2 (51), Kent (60), Ethier (53), Repko 2 (14). S- Penny. LOB- Los Angeles 9, Cincinnati 11.SB- Lugo (22). CS- Kent (2), Lugo (8). DP- 3 (Furcal and Garciaparra; Martin, Furcal and Lugo; Penny, Furcal and Garciaparra). Dodgers in h r-er bb so era Penny (14-7) 5.0 4 1-1 5 3 3.88 Beimel 1.0 1 0-0 1 1 3.42 Dessens 1.1 3 3-3 0 0 4.43 Tomko 0.0 1 1-1 2 0 4.74 Broxton (sv 3) 1.2 1 0-0 1 3 2.69 T- 3:27. Att- 44,176.Dodger Blue Notes-- The Dodgers are 18-7 this month (after an ugly 9-17 July) and need one more win to match the best August since the team moved to Los Angeles. They won 20 games in August 1983. …It is too early to judge the recent trades but, temporarily at least, the players the Dodgers included have not done well. Reliever Danys Baez was placed on the disabled list by the Braves when he had to undergo an emergency appendectomy last week. Infielder Willy Aybar was already on the Braves' DL after trying to play with a non-displaced chip fracture in a finger on his left hand. The Cubs placed shortstop Cesar Izturis on the DL last week with a hamstring problem. And at the Triple-A affiliate in Durham, Joel Guzman was batting .210 in his first 18 games. …Derek Lowe's left thumb is still painful after being hit by a line drive in Arizona, but he threw in the bullpen with Greg Maddux catching the throw from the bull pen catcher and handing it to him. …It was the 40th anniversary of a Beatles concert at Dodger Stadium and Nancy B. Hefley played Beatles selections throughout the evening. …Lefty Mark Hendrickson (5-4, 4.19 ERA), who had his best start as a Dodger his last time out, and Eric Milton (8-7, 5.22 ERA) take the mound for the Dodgers and Reds tonight in the second game of the series.