|11:10 AM PT12:10 PM MT1:10 PM CT2:10 PM ET14:10 ET18:10 GMT2:10 11:10 AM MST1:10 PM EST1:40 PM VEN22:10 UAE12:10 PM CT, September 18, 2021
Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio Attendance: 29,861
Dodgers' Max Scherzer looks to extend run in rematch with Reds
Los Angeles Dodgers at Cincinnati Reds
- Cincinnati took two of three games in Los Angeles in April, one of just five series (out of 24) that the Dodgers have lost at home this season. LA is 8-3 in its last 11 games in Cincinnati, outscoring the Reds, 72-40, during that span.
- The Dodgers are coming off a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks, completing a 6-0 homestand and pulling them within one game of the Giants for the division lead. The Dodgers allowed a combined 12 runs in the six games, while scoring at least five in five of the six games.
- The Reds snapped a four-game losing streak with a 1-0 win in Pittsburgh on Thursday. It was their second 1-0 win of the season (also May 5 at home against the White Sox). Their lone run on Thursday came from a pinch-hitter (Asdrubal Cabrera) driving in a pinch-runner (Delino DeShields).
- Walker Buehler allowed two runs (both earned) in 7.0 innings against the Padres on Saturday, earning his 14th win of the season. That ties a career high he set in 2019. Buehler has allowed a home run in five of his last six starts after going eight starts without allowing one.
- Luis Castillo allowed four runs (all earned) in 7.0 innings in St. Louis on Saturday, taking a no-decision. The Reds have lost six of Castillo's last seven starts. Castillo is 2-0 with a 2.60 ERA in three career starts against the Dodgers.
- During the Dodgers' undefeated six-game homestand, Mookie Betts went 9-for-23 (.391) with a pair of doubles and a pair of home runs. Since the All-Star break, he has an OPS of 1.055 -- he has eight home runs in 28 games since the break after hitting 13 in 79 games before the break.
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On a staff of aces, Max Scherzer stands out, and he will try to continue his perfect run with his new team as the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers look to rebound against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday afternoon.
Scherzer (14-4), who leads the majors with a 2.17 ERA, was acquired on July 30 with Trea Turner from the Nationals and is 6-0 with an 0.88 ERA in eight starts with the Dodgers.
Scherzer enters Saturday with a 10-0 record and a 2.04 ERA in his last 16 starts, a stretch that began June 4.
In his last start, which came Sunday against the Padres, Scherzer flirted with perfection and passed a significant milestone. He became the 19th pitcher with 3,000 strikeouts and had his bid for a perfect game broken up with a double by Eric Hosmer in the eighth inning.
Scherzer ended up allowing just the one hit with nine strikeouts in eight scoreless innings, throwing 92 pitches in an 8-0 win.
Scherzer will be facing the Reds for the second time this year. He took a tough-luck loss while with the Washington Nationals on May 25 at Nationals Park. The Reds got to Scherzer for two runs on five hits in seven innings in a 2-1 win.
In his 14-year career, Scherzer is 5-2 with a 2.09 ERA in eight starts against the Reds.
The Reds counter with right-hander Sonny Gray (7-7, 3.80), who heads to the mound looking to rebound after his five-game win streak came to an end Sunday in a 2-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Gray will be making his fourth career start against the Dodgers and second this season. He was tagged for two runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings on April 28 at Dodger Stadium as the Dodgers pulled away for an 8-0 win and salvaged the final game of the three-game series.
Gray is 1-2 with a 2.18 ERA in his three starts against Los Angeles.
The series could be a preview of a one-game wild-card showdown in the National League. Luis Castillo allowed five hits over 6 1/3 shutout innings and worked out of a first-inning jam on Friday.
"You knew runs were going to be hard to come by," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "I think in its entirety recently we've been swinging the bats well, having good at-bats, team approach."
The Reds, winners of consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 26-27, won Friday's opener 3-1 thanks to two doubles from Kyle Farmer, a 2013 draft pick of the Dodgers. Most importantly, the Reds stayed one game behind St. Louis for the second National League wild-card spot.
"It was a big win, obviously. I love a lot of guys over there (with the Dodgers). They're great friends of mine, teammates and some of the best friends I've ever had. I love playing them, the intensity level. It seems a little different playing them.
Farmer played on playoff teams with the Dodgers in 2017 and 2018 and felt that atmosphere Friday night in the opener.
"I was fortunate enough to play in the playoffs with the Dodgers for two years, and this stadium was very loud and very similar to those atmospheres," Farmer added.
Second baseman Gavin Lux was a late scratch Friday when he was hit on the forearm by a ball from a pitching machine. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he hopes to have Lux available off the bench for the Saturday and Sunday games in Cincinnati. Roberts said X-rays were negative, and the injury is considered just a contusion.
--Field Level Media
Updated September 18, 2021