MLB

Sat, Sep 22, 2012 - 4:05 PM ET
 

Dodgers-Reds Preview

Share This Story

   
 

The Cincinnati Reds could possibly clinch the NL Central before taking the field Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers wouldn't mind if that happened.

The Reds (91-60) had a chance to lock up the Central in Friday's series opener, but Los Angeles (78-73) prevented the inevitable by winning 3-1 in 10 innings. Matt Kemp's two-out single with the bases loaded off Sean Marshall provided the difference.

"It was a good hit," Marshall said. "We'll have another chance to clinch (Saturday)."

They'll actually have two.

Cincinnati, 11 games ahead of St. Louis with 11 to play, can secure its second division title in three years with a win or a Cardinals loss in Chicago. First pitch at Wrigley Field is set for 1:05 p.m. EDT, three hours before this matchup at Great American Ball Park.

It's unclear whether manager Dusty Baker, who has been hospitalized in Chicago with an irregular heartbeat since Wednesday, will be able to attend.

"Of course, everyone in here and in the organization wants him to partake in this, but the reality is he's got to stay focused on getting healthy," bench coach Chris Speier said.

While a Chicago win would help a Reds team that really doesn't need any, it would be far more beneficial for the Dodgers.

Los Angeles has pulled within two games of the Cardinals for the NL's second wild-card spot with 11 left. The Dodgers, who won for only the fifth time in 15 games, are also one-half game behind Milwaukee.

"There's definitely a long way to go," Kemp said.

Pushing more runs across would certainly help in their playoff pursuit. The Dodgers won the opener despite finishing with three runs or less for the 12th time in 15 games.

"We haven't been doing too well getting hits with men on base," Kemp said. "We finally got the job done."

Kemp finished with three hits and is batting .364 with a homer and four RBIs during a five-game hitting streak after going 3 for 37 (.081) with one RBI in his previous nine. However, he's 3 for 16 (.188) with five strikeouts lifetime against scheduled starter Mat Latos (12-4, 3.76 ERA).

Although Latos has had Kemp's number, he hasn't enjoyed much success against the Dodgers, losing his last four starts despite recording a 3.20 ERA. This will be his first start against his former division rival since being acquired from San Diego in the offseason.

Latos allowed four runs and seven hits with eight strikeouts in 7 2-3 innings in a 5-4, 11-inning victory against Miami on Sunday. The Reds have won each of his last four starts, with the right-hander earning two victories while posting a 3.25 ERA.

The Dodgers counter with Stephen Fife (0-1, 2.49), who is set to make his fifth big league start.

After appearing in three games in July and early August, Fife got the call to take the start for the injured Clayton Kershaw on Sunday against St. Louis. The rookie put together an encouraging outing, allowing two runs and four hits while striking out nine and walking one in a 5-2, 12-inning loss.

"I was a little anxious, a little hyped up," said the 25-year-old right-hander, who struck out the side in the first and second innings.

He'll be facing a Cincinnati team that finished Friday with four hits and 14 strikeouts, one shy of a season high.

Joey Votto had one of the hits and is batting .370 during an eight-game hitting streak.

Tagged: Reds, Dodgers, Matt Kemp, Mat Latos

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..