Dodgers 9, Reds 6

Chad Billingsley had trouble finding the exact words to describe

his game-turning at-bats.

”I don’t really know how to talk about hitting,” the Dodgers

pitcher said.

No problem. His perfectly timed swings needed little

elaboration.

Billingsley drove in a career-high three runs with a homer, a

double and a bases-loaded walk, and Los Angeles beat the Cincinnati

Reds 9-6 on Sunday to extend its domination of the series.

Matt Kemp added a two-run homer – his third in a sequence of

five at-bats – as the Dodgers improved to 28-10 against the Reds

since 2006.

Billingsley (5-4) lasted only five innings, but helped himself

build a big lead.

He hit a solo homer – the second of his career – in the second

inning off Travis Wood (4-4). Billingsley drew a bases-loaded walk

during the Dodgers’ three-run third. His RBI double to the warning

track in right field ended Wood’s outing in the fifth and made it

8-4.

”Guys have been swinging the bats well lately,” said

Billingsley, batting .304 after his big game. ”We jumped out on

them early. I didn’t have my best stuff from the get-go. I knew it

was going to be a battle.”

It ended with a rookie’s great escape.

Josh Lindblom made his second big league appearance with none

out in the ninth and loaded the bases. He retired Paul Janish on an

infield fly, gave up a sacrifice fly to Chris Heisey and fanned

Drew Stubbs to finish it.

”I think I was trying to be too fine to those first couple

hitters, trying to get on the edges,” Lindblom said. ”I can’t

keep putting myself in those situations because eventually my

luck’s going to run out.”

Los Angeles took two of three in the series, which included the

Dodgers’ biggest comeback win of the season. They rallied from five

runs down to an 11-8 victory in 11 innings on Saturday that

featured Kemp’s solo homer, grand slam and season-high six

RBIs.

Kemp’s two-run shot off Wood in the first inning gave him 16

homers overall, one shy of Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce for the NL lead.

Kemp went 7 for 11 in the series with three homers and five

walks.

”I feel real comfortable right now,” he said. ”I think a lot

of us are. We’ve been swinging the bats really well.”

Los Angeles won the last two games with long rallies, batting

around three times in a span of seven innings. The Dodgers sent

nine batters to the plate for three runs in the third.

Rod Barajas doubled over third base with two outs for a pair of

runs, and Wood intentionally walked James Loney to load the bases

and bring up Billingsley. Wood walked him as well, throwing a

full-count fastball off the plate.

The left-hander gave up a career-high eight runs in 4 2-3

innings, putting more pressure on the NL’s busiest bullpen. Reds

relievers lead the league in innings.

Reds pitchers walked a season-high 10 batters – two

intentionally – and four of them scored. The Dodgers had at least

one baserunner in every inning and stranded 14 runners overall.

Stubbs hit a solo homer, and Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips

drove in two runs apiece for the Reds, who have lost 13 of their

last 18 games. They fell back to .500, a season-high 5 1/2 games

behind first-place St. Louis in the NL Central.

”That’s just baseball,” Heisey said. ”No matter how good you

are, you’re going to have a stretch where things don’t go your way,

like the Red Sox at the beginning of the season. We’re .500, but I

think we’re better. I know we’re better.”

Billingsley had a pivotal moment in the fifth, when the Reds got

two runners aboard with two outs. The Reds sent up pinch-hitter

Jonny Gomes, who was 5 for 7 against the right-hander with a homer.

Billingsley got Gomes to line out to second baseman Aaron

Miles.

NOTES: Billingsley’s other homer was a solo shot off Josh Banks

in San Diego on July 5, 2009. … Reds manager Dusty Baker moved

RHP Chad Reineke into the bullpen on Sunday, clearing the way for

RHP Edinson Volquez to return from the minors and start on Tuesday

against the Cubs. Baker said it’s ”a good maybe” that Volquez

will be back. He was sent to the minors to fix his control

problems. … 3B Scott Rolen got the day off. He’s got a bad cold

and is in a 3-for-18 slump.