GLENDALE, Ariz. - The Cincinnati Reds scored three runs in the ninth inning Friday afternoon to overcome struggles by starter Mike Leake and earn a 6-5 victory over the Dodgers.
The Reds’ bats came to life against reliever Josh Wall in the top of the ninth inning. Jack Hannahan tied the game on a one-out, two-run single. Xavier Paul gave the Reds the lead with a sacrifice fly that scored Emmanuel Burriss from third base.
Wall was charged with three earned runs in just 1/3 of an inning.
Cincinnati was put in a come-from-behind position after Leake struggled on the same day manager Dusty Baker named him the team’s fifth starter. He allowed a pair of home runs to Luis Cruz, who is battling with Dee Gordon to fill in for injured shortstop Hanley Ramirez.
"I felt really good, just two bad pitches," Leake said following his outing. "I mixed well and kind of enjoyed it."
Leake allowed four runs on five hits in five innings of work, before giving way to Aroldis Chapman who pitched a scoreless inning of relief.
Chapman was named the closer prior the game.
Cruz finished with a game-high four RBIs.
Los Angeles starter Clayton Kershaw struggled in the first inning against the Reds. The Dodgers' ace hit the first batter he faced, walked the next batter and then allowed RBI singles to Ryan Ludwick and Todd Frazier to give Cincinnati an early 2-0 lead.
Kershaw allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and three walks in six innings of work. The Dodgers' projected Opening Day starter also had eight strikeouts.
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