It took a little over two hours to finally get the game underway after rain swept through the Queen City. When the rain cleared, Josh Beckett continued his comeback season with six shutout innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers rolled to a 6-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
Beckett allowed only two hits and a walk while striking out seven over his six innings. The 34-year-old now owns a 2.35 ERA on the season which leads the Dodgers staff.
Truthfully, the Dodgers and Beckett himself couldn’t have envisioned the start of this year coming off surgery but he has proven that he still has what it takes. The right-hander has allowed two or fewer runs in nine of his 12 starts including four scoreless. He also has 70 strikeouts in 72⅔ innings on the season which is his highest number of strikeouts through 12 starts since 2009.
The Dodgers offense has come alive on the road trip scoring at least six runs in four (all wins) of the five games since leaving Dodger Stadium. Dodger hitters combined for 12 hits and three walks including five doubles which ties the season-high.
Adrian Gonzalez was in the slump of his career entering Tuesday night with on eight hits in his last 68 plate appearances and 1-for-26 in June. Gonzalez snapped his 0-for-20 slide with a double in the second inning and would come around two batters later on an Andre Ethier double giving the Dodgers an early 1-0 advantage.
Ethier was in the lineup for the first time since Saturday and responded with a 2-for-4 night. The Dodgers center fielder is now hitting .389 (7-for-18) in his last four games.
In the fifth inning, the Dodgers gave Beckett a little breathing room with four hits in the first five batters of the inning including a single for Beckett himself. Dee Gordon doubled down the left field line to score Justin Turner to set up Hanley Ramirez for a two-run single to put the Dodgers up 4-0.
Turner has been on fire lately with four straight multi-hit efforts going 2-for-4 driving in a run in the top of the sixth inning. Since Juan Uribe hit the disabled list on May 21, Turner is hitting .333 (20-for-60) and has hit .385 since May 29.
Gonzalez drove in the final run of the night for the Dodgers on his second double scoring Yasiel Puig. The first baseman finished 2-for-5 for only the second multi-hit game in the past 14 starts.
The only run of the game for the Reds came in the seventh inning after Paul Maholm relieved Beckett. Zack Cozart, who was hit in the helmet by a pitch earlier in the game, came up with a run scoring single. Chris Perez would come in to get the final two outs of the inning to end the threat.
The Dodgers will look to stay hot on the road Wednesday by winning their fourth straight game for the first time all season.
WP: Josh Beckett (4-3, 2.35)
LP: Mike Leake (3-6, 3.61)
–Matt Kemp was 0-for-4 with a walk and four strikeouts.