Strange call by umps in Dodgers game
Rafael Furcal lined out on the game's first pitch, hitting the ball so hard that second baseman Brandon Phillips fell on his back after catching it.
With Furcal leading the way, the Dodgers knocked the Reds around all night.
Their leadoff hitter drove in four runs with a single, double and triple to highlight another big performance by the majors' best-hitting lineup Wednesday night, leading Los Angeles to a 14-6 victory over Cincinnati. The Dodgers scored in all but one inning, a dominating performance from top to bottom.
"I think everybody's feeling good right now,'' Furcal said. "You can see it.''
Sure can, right there in those gaudy offensive numbers.
The Dodgers came into the game with a .302 batting average that led the majors and five players hitting .320 or better. They piled up 18 hits overall and reached a season high in runs.
Andre Ethier had a solo homer among his three hits, and Matt Kemp extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his seventh homer of the season. James Loney broke the game open with a bases-loaded single that made it 9-4 in the sixth inning.
"We've got a great lineup 1-to-8,'' Kemp said, then caught himself. "1-to-9 — we've got some pitchers that can hit, too. We're getting good at-bats, fouling off good pitches and making the pitchers make mistakes.''
There were plenty of those to go around the batting order. The Reds have lost six of seven, with their rotation still lacking a victory. Top starter Aaron Harang (0-3) had another rough time, giving up 10 hits in only 5 2-3 innings.
"He was pitching behind in the count and when you do that, bad things happen,'' manager Dusty Baker said. "It seemed like every time somebody walked, they scored. It wasn't very pretty tonight.''
Hiroki Kuroda (2-0) gave up a pair of homers and had an overturned call go against him, but got a win that moved the Dodgers back to .500 for the fourth time this season. They have yet to go over the mark.
It added up to another emphatic LA win in the lopsided series. The Dodgers are 23-5 against the Reds since 2006, their best mark against any team in that span, according to STATS LLC.
"They keep coming at people,'' manager Joe Torre said of his offense. "They don't take an inning off and to me, that's the best news.''
The discouraging news for Cincinnati: Harang getting knocked around again. The Reds' ace is 12-34 over his last three seasons. He gave up seven runs, raising his earned run average to 8.31. Manny Ramirez, who missed two games over the weekend because of a tight right calf, had three of the 10 hits off Harang, including a pair of RBI singles.
"Obviously, it's bad luck,'' Harang said. "I'm in a bad spell right now. We're close enough to Kentucky — I should be able to find a horseshoe.''
Kuroda gave up a two-run homer by Joey Votto and a solo shot by Scott Rolen in the first inning. The right-hander allowed seven hits and six runs — three earned — in 5 2-3 innings.
The Reds tied it with the help of an overturned call in the fourth, when Harang batted with the bases loaded and two outs. He hit a sinking liner to right, where Ethier appeared to short-hop the ball while trying for a diving catch. First base umpire Tim McClelland signaled out, and Reds manager Dusty Baker argued.
The crew huddled and reversed the call, giving Harang a single and the Reds a run that tied it at 4. Chris Dickerson struck out to end the inning.
"I called him out,'' said McClelland, the crew chief. "We got together. Through consultation we determined that he didn't catch the ball. We got a directive that says we can place runners where we thought they would have been had the call been called accurately the first time. We put the runners at the bases.''
Ramirez broke the tie with a run-scoring single in the fifth, and the Dodgers were on their way. Ramirez went 3 for 4 with a walk, raising his average to .421.
NOTES: The Dodgers activated RH reliever Ronald Belisario off the restricted list. Belisario didn't arrive at spring training until late March because of visa problems. He pitched a perfect inning. ... RH Jeff Weaver relieved in the eighth, retired the only batter he faced and felt a twinge in his back on his last pitch. He left as a precaution. "I've had it before,'' Weaver said. "It's not anything different. There was no pain down my leg or anything like that.'' ... Dodgers LHP Hong-Chih Kuo (sore elbow) will likely be activated from the DL later in the week. ... Dickerson started in CF in place of struggling Drew Stubbs, hitless in his last 19 at-bats.