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Latos outduels Greinke as Reds cool off hot Dodgers

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The Canadian Press
7/26/2013 1:56:44 AM
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LOS ANGELES -- Mat Latos threw 7 2-3 innings and the Cincinnati Reds got home runs from Jay Bruce and Xavier Paul to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2 on Thursday night, ending the NL West leaders' six-game winning streak.

Latos (10-3) allowed two runs -- one earned -- and eight hits with four strikeouts en route to his first victory at Dodger Stadium after going 0-5 with a 3.95 ERA in his five previous starts at Chavez Ravine.

Latos is 24-7 in 54 starts since Cincinnati acquired him from San Diego in December 2011. The last time he faced the Dodgers back on Sept. 22 at Cincinnati, he pitched eight innings in a 6-0 victory that clinched the Reds' second NL Central title in a three-year span.

Aroldis Chapman got three outs for his 24th save in 27 chances.

Zack Greinke (8-3) gave up four runs and six hits over seven innings in his second attempt at his 100th major league victory. The loss was the right-hander's first in his last six decisions overall, and first in seven career starts against the Reds (4-1).

Coming off a 6-0 trip that extended their road winning streak to 10 games -- the longest by the franchise since 1955 -- the Dodgers lost for only the sixth time in their last 29 games overall. Their division lead over Arizona shrunk to a half-game as a result of the Diamondbacks' 3-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

A couple of former Dodgers drove in Cincinnati's first two runs. Paul, the second batter Greinke faced, drove a 2-0 pitch into the right-field pavilion in his 700th career plate appearance and Cesar Izturis added an RBI single in the second inning.

Bruce was 2 for 21 lifetime against Greinke before driving a 2-2 pitch to left-centre for his 21st homer. It came after Greinke turned Joey Votto's comebacker into a 1-6-3 double play and then hit Brandon Phillips on the leg with an 0-2 delivery.

Yasiel Puig, who has been playing like anything but a rookie since the Dodgers promoted him from Triple-A on June 3, single-handedly manufactured their unearned run in the fourth after leading off with a single and making his customary exaggerated turn at first.

Centre fielder Shin-Soo Choo tried to get cute and made an ill-advised throw past first baseman Votto -- hoping to surprise Puig -- and the ball hopped into the stands. Puig was awarded two bases and scored on Adrian Gonzalez's groundout. The error was Choo's third of the season.

Choo made another egregious mistake on the base paths during the Reds' eighth. Votto lined a hit-and-run single to centre field, but Choo got fooled on a perfect decoy by shortstop Hanley Ramirez at second base -- so good that Choo started back to first and was tagged out on the relay from Andre Ethier to Ramirez.

Puig, who went 53 at-bats without an extra-base hit before his double and home run in the Dodgers' 8-3 win against the Blue Jays on Wednesday, had a pair of singles and raised his average to .378.

Choo drove in Cincinnati's final run with a ninth-inning single against Carlos Marmol in the right-hander's first home appearance with the Dodgers.

NOTES: Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, the only member of the Dodgers' family who gets more standing ovations than Puig, received another one from the sellout crowd on his bobblehead night after a video montage was played on both main scoreboards midway through the fifth inning. Scully is in his 64th season with the club. ... The Dodgers landed in Los Angeles at 3:30 a.m. local time after their flight from Toronto, and the Reds hit town about 1 1/2 hours earlier after wrapping up their series at San Francisco. The most well-rested people on the field were Greinke -- who flew ahead of the team -- and umpires Scott Barry, Alfonso Marquez, Ted Barrett and Mike Muchlinski, who worked the Angels-Twins game down the freeway in Anaheim on Wednesday afternoon. ... Paul's six home runs this year are one fewer than he hit in 507 at-bats during his four previous big league seasons. He homered once for the Dodgers in 146 at-bats spanning 62 games. ... Injured Cincinnati RHP Jonathan Broxton, who spent his first seven big league seasons with the Dodgers and had a career-high 36 saves for them in 2009, is scheduled to face hitters during batting practice on Saturday. He hasn't pitched for the Reds since June 13 because of an elbow strain. ... Reds SS Zack Cozart, returning to Dodger Stadium for the first time since getting beaned by Chad Billingsley last July, missed his second straight game because of soreness in his left hip. ... Latos has allowed only two home runs against the Dodgers in 72 career innings spanning 10 starts. Both of them were by James Loney. ... Three of Greinke's four strikeouts came against Latos.

Mat Latos (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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