CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Reds are doing a better job of keeping the Dodgers from winning a sixth consecutive division title than either the Colorado Rockies or Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Dodgers were held to four hits by second-year right-hander Luis Castillo in a 3-1 loss to the Reds on Tuesday night and have now lost all six meetings with Cincinnati this season.
While the Dodgers have risen to the occasion and won series against the Diamondbacks and Rockies – each leading the National League West at the time – in the past two weeks, they have also lost series to the New York Mets and Reds (a combined 33 games under .500 going into Tuesday’s games).
In their six meetings this season, the Reds have outscored the Dodgers 33-16. The two teams have played 54 innings against each other this season. The Reds have held the lead after 41 of them, the Dodgers eight (none in the first two games of this series).
Castillo dominated the Dodgers for six innings. He struck out seven of the first 11 batters and allowed just three balls to leave the infield in the first five innings (two first-inning singles and a fourth-inning fly out).
Joc Pederson ended a string of 15 consecutive Dodgers retired by Castillo when he hit a solo home run in the sixth inning. The Dodgers managed four hits against nine strikeouts in Castillo’s 6-1/3 innings.
The Dodgers did get their chance in the seventh inning. A double by Yasmani Grandal, a wild pitch and a walk of Alex Verdugo put the tying runs on base with one out and got Castillo out of the game.
Chris Taylor flew out to right field, but Yasiel Puig walked to load the bases for pinch-hitter Justin Turner. Turner grounded into a forceout.
The Dodgers finished the night with five hits against 11 strikeouts.
The loss included the usual torment by Scooter Gennett. He had two hits, a walk and an RBI and is now 16 for 22 against the Dodgers this season. Adding insult, former Dodgers prospects Scott Schebler and Brandon Dixon hit home runs. Both were sent to Cincinnati in the Dec. 2015 trade that brought Trayce Thompson and Frankie Montas to the Dodgers – temporarily.