Perhaps the worst thing that Adrian Gonzalez did was hit a home run in his first at-bat as a Dodger back on August 25th. Sure, his three-run shot on the second pitch he saw into the right field seats was something right out of a movie. But Dodger fans, like myself, expected to see that type of production from him on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t expected to hit a home run every game, but we expected to see more power than previous first baseman James Loney provided. Well, that didn’t happen. Over the course of the next few weeks, Gonzalez struggled mightily and all we saw were ground-outs, strike-outs and fly-outs. Sure, there were few glimmers of hope, including his walk-off double against the Diamondbacks, his triple in San Francisco that started their winning rally and a few other singles. But no power. Until last night. Gonzalez hit not one, but two home runs in the Dodgers 5-3 victory of the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark.
It was a much needed victory for the Dodgers as they find themselves running out of days to make up a three game deficit in the wild card standings. A loss would have been devastating as we are now in the single digits in remaining games, nine. Homer Bailey was roughed up as the Dodgers bats came alive. Gonzales led off the second inning depositing a shot into the right field seats, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. The Reds got the run back in the bottom half of the third inning off of Dodger starter Clayton Kershaw, who made his first start since missing his last two starts following a hip injury. Kershaw, who reportedly was to be shut down for the year, sought out a second opinion in New York and was assured that he would not further injure himself by pitching. However, the Dodgers medical staff are adamant that he would be shut down if he experienced any pain. He pitched a solid five innings, giving up one run and striking out five, with a no-decision.
The Dodgers exploded with four runs in the seventh inning. Gonzalez led off with a towering home run, this time to left-center. Hanley Ramirez followed with a single to left and was pinch-ran for by Dee Gordon, after feeling the effects of fouling a pitch off of his shin. After getting Elian Herrera out on strikes and a sacrifice bunt by A.J. Ellis, pinch-hitter Bobby Abreu walked to load the bases. That brought up Mark Ellis, who ripped a double to left. The Dodgers tacked on another run on an infield single by Andre Ethier.
The Reds tacked on two runs in the eighth inning, on a two-run home run from Denis Phipps, but were no threat after.
By taking two of three against the Reds, this was the first Dodger series victory since the Gonzalez trade the weekend of August 24th and kept them three back in the wildcard hunt. Much needed victory, indeed.
About the Author
Written by Simran Reyatt
Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles I became passionate about sports around 1988, watching the showtime Lakers and the miracle Dodgers. I have been hooked ever since! Lakers, Raider and Dodgers are my main passions, but really, I'm a huge sports lover as a whole.