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Dodgers finally beat Reds, finish season series 1-6

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You really can’t predict baseball. The 78-67 Dodgers, vying for first place in the NL West, entered Wednesday afternoon’s action in Cincinnati having lost all six matchups against the 63-83, last-place Reds this season. The Dodgers’ Opening Day payroll was nearly twice that of the Reds’.

How bad has it been for the Dodgers against the Reds in 2018? Consider that, this season, Reds starter Homer Bailey has a 6.09 ERA. The Reds are 1-19 in games he’s started. That one win came on May 12 against the Dodgers when Bailey allowed three runs on 10 hits and two walks with four strikeouts over five innings.

Wednesday afternoon was the Dodgers’ last chance to get on the board against the Reds and they finally did it. Joc Pederson tied the game at 1-1 with a solo homer to lead off the fourth inning and the Dodgers took the lead later that inning on a fan interference call. The Dodgers plated four more runs in the fifth and two in the sixth to take an 8-1 lead. They would go on to win 8-1.

Ross Stripling started for the Dodgers, yielding a lone run over 3 1/3 innings before giving way to the bullpen. Zac Rosscup, Caleb Ferguson, Dylan Floro, Pat Venditte, Josh Fields, and Kenley Jansen combined to get the final 17 outs. Jansen was making his first appearance in a week.

With the win, the Dodgers pick up a half-game in the standings on the first-place Rockies, who play the Diamondbacks in the evening. The gap between the Rockies and Dodgers is now only one game. The D-Backs trail the Rockies by 2.5 games. Things are getting real interesting in the NL West with the finish line on the horizon.

White Sox won’t make bid for Bryce Harper

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The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.

Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.

Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.

The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.