The Dodgers have been unbeatable at home against the Cincinnati Reds. Now Randy Wolf is too.
Wolf earned his first victory at Dodger Stadium this season, getting plenty of run support in a 12-2 victory Tuesday night that was Los Angeles’ 11th consecutive home win against the Reds.
Rafael Furcal hit a two-run homer and drove in four runs and Matt Kemp added a two-run shot as the Dodgers improved baseball’s best record to 60-34 mostly without Manny Ramirez.
He was hit on the side of his left hand by a pitch from Homer Bailey leading off the third inning. Ramirez went to a hospital for precautionary X-rays, which were negative. He is listed as day-to-day.
“It’s scary, it’s so easy to break a bone,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. “We’re very fortunate it was only a bruise. You don’t even want to think about doing without him again.”
Nobody was more relieved than Bailey to hear that Ramirez’s hand wasn’t broken.
“I’m glad that’s not the case or there would have been a lot of Los Angeles fans mad at me,” he said. “I was trying to get the pitch about stomach-high and in on him. You don’t want to miss over the plate because he’s liable to hit it 800 feet. The pitch just got away from me. I’ve never intentionally tried to hurt anybody, so I’m sure he understands.”
After stumbling out of the All-Star break with two consecutive losses to Houston, the NL West-leading Dodgers (60-34) won their fourth straight and are 26 games over .500 for the first time since 1991.
Wolf (5-4) has certainly endured his struggles. He earned a decision in his third consecutive start after getting just three in his previous 10. Seven of his no-decisions have been at home, along with two of his losses.
“It’s been kind of a weird year, been either feast or famine,” he said. “Anytime you get kind of a no-brainer win it feels good.”
The left-hander gave up four hits and two runs in 7 1-3 innings – his longest outing since May 18 – struck out four and walked one while helping his own cause with an RBI double in the fifth. He also singled in the second.
“I’ve been pretty pathetic out there,” he said. “I still don’t have any pop, but it was fun.”
Wolf walked off to a standing ovation.
Ramirez got the offense going in the first with a two-run triple that made it 2-0, then made a running catch to end the second before being hit leading off the third.
The Dodgers took a 4-1 lead in the second on Kemp’s two-run homer off a 3-2 pitch from Bailey (1-2). The right-hander allowed eight hits and nine runs, six earned, in 2 2-3 innings, walked two and struck out none.
“He didn’t really have his command from the beginning,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “It seemed like he was either way out of the zone or in the heart of the plate. He lost command of his breaking ball and they were just sitting on fastballs.”
Los Angeles added five runs in the third. Bailey’s wild pitch scored pinch-runner Juan Pierre, who replaced Ramirez. James Loney, who went 3 for 4, added a two-run single before Furcal’s two-run single with two outs made it 9-1.
“It was fun,” Loney said. “Getting the lead early and then Wolf just went and threw strikes.”
The Dodgers extended their lead to 12-1 in the fifth on Wolf’s RBI double and Furcal’s fifth homer, a two-run shot on an 0-1 pitch from Jared Burton.
Cincinnati’s runs came in the second on Jonny Gomes‘ seventh homer, Drew Sutton‘s RBI double in the eighth, his first major league hit, and Joey Votto‘s homer in the ninth.
“They’ve got a good lineup over there and they were tattooing some balls pretty good,” Baker said. “You know you’ve got a good lineup when your eighth hitter’s hitting .320-something. I don’t know If I’ve seen that ever.
“That’s two nights in a row I’ve had to go to the bullpen too early, and it just kills the pen.”
The Reds haven’t won at Dodger Stadium since July 28, 2005. … The Dodgers‘ home winning streak over the Reds is the second-longest in baseball behind Milwaukee, which has defeated Pittsburgh 18 consecutive times at home, according to Stats LLC. … Los Angeles improved to 48-0 this season when leading after eight innings. … Reds 2B Brandon Phillips didn’t start Tuesday as a result of not running out a fly ball a night earlier. He tried to stretch a single into a double and was thrown out after the ball fell between two outfielders. … USC football coach Pete Carroll smiled when he heard himself booed after being shown on the big screen.