Now, they’re hitting the road to face the second-place Mets and first-place Cubs.
“We got our work cut out for us on this road trip,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We feel pretty good about ourselves.”
The Dodgers have won nine straight against the Reds, who extended their season-high skid to 10 games.
“You can’t imagine how it feels to lose 10 in a row,” manager Bryan Price said. “It’s miserable, and that’s all I want to say about it.”
Kazmir (4-3) allowed one run and four hits in six innings. He struck out 12 for the third time in his career and first since Sept. 6, 2012, against the Mets, and walked two. The left-hander has been uneven this season, giving up five runs, two homers and a career-high seven walks last Friday at San Diego.
“This was big to be able to bounce back,” Kazmir said. “My rhythm is getting a lot better with all my pitches. That’s the key to be able to have that fastball command. I was able to go in and out and use my changeup off the plate.”
Kenley Janson pitched a scoreless ninth for his 14th save in 16 chances after blowing his previous two opportunities.
Dan Straily (2-2) took a perfect game into the fourth inning, when the Dodgers rallied for a 2-1 lead on Pederson’s hit. The right-hander gave up three runs and three hits, struck out a career high-tying 11 and walked one.
“I had full command of my fastball and I was going after guys,” Straily said. “The fourth was a long inning and I’m frustrated by the loss.”
Yasmani Grandal homered leading off the fifth, sending an 0-2 pitch into the right field pavilion to keep the Dodgers ahead 3-1.
Jay Bruce‘s RBI triple gave the Reds a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Bruce was out trying to stretch it at home.
“I thought I was safe,” he said. “I slid to the outside of the plate and touched it, and then I went back and tagged the plate just in case he thought I missed it.”
The Reds scored three runs, had eight hits and committed six errors in the series.
Reds: RHP Anthony DeSclafani (strained left oblique) made a rehab start for Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He allowed three runs and three hits in three innings, taking a 7-1 loss. He struck out two and walked none. … RHP Jon Moscot (inflammation, non-throwing left shoulder) will make another rehab start for Louisville on Thursday at Scranton. … RHP Michael Lorenzen (sprained right elbow) is scheduled to throw 20 pitches in a simulated game on Friday in Goodyear, Arizona. … RHP Raisel Iglesias on Tuesday threw from 60 feet without problems. … RHP Homer Bailey on Tuesday threw from 90 feet without issues.
Dodgers: LF Scott Van Slyke (low back irritation) went 1 for 4 as the designated hitter with a run scored for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Wednesday. … In the same game, LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (left shoulder surgery) started and threw 55 pitches over four scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out three. He is scheduled to make two more rehab starts.
GRINDING IT OUT
The Dodgers ended a stretch in which they played 20 straight games, the maximum allowed. They’ll get Thursday off before visiting the Mets starting Friday.
“Twenty days is awful,” said Jansen, who watched more than he pitched in those games. “It’s not healthy for players. It don’t matter for me, it’s for my teammates. When you have a day off, you’re traveling. When you get to New York it’s seven o’clock at night and then you get up and do it all over again.”
PUIG OFF THE BENCH
Yasiel Puig wasn’t in the Dodgers’ starting lineup, but manager Dave Roberts said it wasn’t because of the Cuban’s failure to run out a single the night before.
Roberts said the decision to sit Puig had been made before Tuesday’s game. He entered Wednesday as a defensive replacement in the eighth and struck out in the bottom of the inning.
Puig had an up-and-down week. He committed a base-running gaffe that likely cost the Dodgers a run last Sunday in San Diego before hitting a tiebreaking, two-run single with the bases loaded in the 17th inning to help them win. Then he failed to run hard on a single in the sixth Tuesday.
“He wants to be a better teammate,” Roberts said. “He wants to get better.”
Reds: LHP John Lamb (0-2, 5.40 ERA) starts the series opener in Milwaukee.
Dodgers: LHP Alex Wood (1-3, 4.03) starts the series opener at the Mets. The Dodgers took two of three from the Mets at home from May 10-12, with L.A. outscoring New York 10-6.