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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.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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