Johnny Cueto Dominates, Blanks Dodgers 5-0
CINCINNATI (AP) –– Hanley Ramirez came down with a stiff shoulder and had to be scratched from the lineup. Matt Kemp was ejected in the second inning for arguing with an umpire.
Things started badly for the Dodgers and never got any better.
Johnny Cueto matched his career high with 12 strikeouts in six innings, and Joey Votto and Jay Bruce — the missing core of Cincinnati’s batting order much of the season — each drove in runs Wednesday night, leading the Reds to a 5-0 victory over Los Angeles.
“I know our guys were frustrated with the strike zone,” manager Don Mattingly said. “You do get frustrated with the strike zone, but their guy’s a handful.”
Cueto (6-5) followed his shortest start of the season with one of his most dominating. He gave up three singles and didn’t walk a batter, leaving after his 112th pitch. Cueto lasted only five innings during an 8-0 loss to Philadelphia on Friday.
Jonathan Broxton escaped a bases-loaded, one-out threat in the seventh by getting the pinch-hitting Ramirez to ground into a double play.
Votto doubled home a pair of runs off Hyun-Jin Ryu (7-3), who had won his last four starts. Votto hadn’t driven in a run since May 10, missing 23 games in between because of a strained muscle above his left knee.
Bruce missed two weeks following knee surgery. He hit a solo homer off Ryu, who gave up four runs in six innings.
“Pretty much just one of those days,” Ryu said, through a translator.
The loss snapped the Dodgers’ three-game winning streak, which matched their season high. They’re 4-2 on a trip that concludes Thursday and 22-13 overall on the road.
Kemp was ejected in the second inning by plate umpire Seth Buckminster, a minor league umpire brought up to the majors. Kemp was called out on strikes and continued to argue from the dugout. It was Kemp’s eighth career ejection and his second this season. Kemp was ejected by Angel Hernandez on April 26 for arguing a called third strike.
Mattingly said Kemp was upset over ball-and-strike calls on Tuesday night as well.
“Just emotion,” Mattingly said. “What you really want your guys to be is passionate about playing and having success. Tonight it spilled over. He was frustrated last night and today it seemed to carry over a little bit.”
Ramirez felt some tightness in his right shoulder during infield practice and it stiffened up again before the start of the game, forcing Mattingly to drop him from the starting lineup. Ramirez will likely be out of the lineup on Thursday as well.
Cueto faced the minimum 15 batters through five innings — Dee Gordon singled but was picked off. He also fanned 10 over that span, including five in a row while getting up to 90 pitches. The Dodgers got a pair of singles in the sixth, but Ryu failed to get down a bunt to advance them.
Ryu had won his first five decisions on the road this season. When he faced the Reds on May 26 at Dodger Stadium, he took a perfect game into the eighth before settling for a 4-3 victory.
He helped the Reds get ahead in the rematch. With two outs in the second, Ryu walked Billy Hamilton and Todd Frazier before giving up Votto’s two-out double.
“The outing was summed up by the walks I gave up with two outs,” Ryu said.
Votto scored on Brandon Phillips’ single. Bruce homered in the sixth for a 4-0 lead.
NOTES: Zack Greinke (8-2) faces Alfredo Simon (8-3) in the final game of the series on Thursday afternoon. The Reds are 4-5 on their homestand. … RHP Chad Billingsley, who had reconstructive elbow surgery last year, didn’t feel right while throwing in the bullpen on Tuesday and has put his rehab on hold until the elbow can be examined. … RF Yasiel Puig visited the Cincinnati Zoo and tweeted photos and video of himself with elephants, polar bears and a snake. Puig went 0 for 4, ending his streak of 40 games reaching base safely. … The Reds wore camouflage jerseys and hats honoring the military. … SS Zack Cozart has a six-game hitting streak.