If there is a left-handed starter on the mound for the opposition, there is a good chance the Los Angeles Dodgers will have Scott Van Slyke in the lineup. On Monday night, Van Slyke enjoyed a career-high three hits, including two home runs, propelling the Dodgers past the Cincinnati Reds with a 6-2 victory.
Van Slyke is now hitting .318 (14-for-44) with all six of his homers on the season against left-handers. The rest of the team has hit only .204 against southpaws not fairing very well.
The Dodgers center fielder unloaded to center in the second inning with a solo shot off the second deck an estimated 448 feet away from home plate. That counts as the longest home run at Great American Ballpark this season. But Van Slyke wasn’t finished on the night.
With two men aboard in the sixth inning, Van Slyke turned on a Tony Cingrani pitch sending it into the left field seats for a three-run homer. The four RBIs on the night and five times on base, with two walks, were also a career-highs for the lumbering right-hander.
Cingrani, now 0-5 with a 6.26 ERA since coming back from the disabled list in May, surrendered six runs and seven hits while walking three.
In between the Van Slyke homers, the Dodgers scored a pair of runs in the fourth on a Justin Turner bloop single followed by a Tim Federowicz sac fly to go up 3-1. The Reds pulled within one on a Ryan Ludwick solo homer that seemed like a pop fly that just kept carrying over the left field wall.
Dan Haren was effective on the night only giving up two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out two. Although, Haren was pulled after 5 1/3 innings and 95 pitches making it only the second time in 13 starts in 2014 that Haren hasn’t gone at least six innings.
J.P. Howell came on in relief of Haren with two on in the sixth inning and needed only two pitches to induce an inning-ending double play. Howell has now stranded 16 of 18 inherited runners on his way to his 25th scoreless appearance this season.
The Reds loaded the bases twice in the game but could only come up with one run with the opportunity going 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. In the second, the Reds tied the game at one scoring on the second Haren wild pitch of the inning. In the eighth, the Reds came up empty with nobody out Brandon League escaped a jam with a double play and a groundout.
Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for only his second appearance since May 27 due to the Dodgers feast or famine offense.
The Dodgers are now a major league leading 21-12 on the road this year and have won three of their last four games overall.
WP: Dan Haren (6-4, 3.49)
LP: Tony Cingrani (2-7, 4.68)
-Dee Gordon made his first appearance since being pulled on Saturday with discomfort in his right hip. He beat out a ground ball to shortstop for a pinch-hit single in the ninth inning but was thrown out attempting to steal second.
-Matt Kemp is now 6-for-12 in his last four games with five walks and no strikeouts.