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Sweet relief: Bullpen battles, comes up clutch

MLB.com Reporter @kengurnick

CINCINNATI -- It was almost as if manager Don Mattingly couldn't wait to get into his beleaguered bullpen, removing starting pitcher Alex Wood after 5 2/3 shutout innings.

But he had sounded a tone all day about the season starting anew, and it sort of looked that way as five relievers pitched the last 3 1/3 innings of a 5-1 win over the Reds that snapped the Dodgers' five-game losing streak Tuesday.

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CINCINNATI -- It was almost as if manager Don Mattingly couldn't wait to get into his beleaguered bullpen, removing starting pitcher Alex Wood after 5 2/3 shutout innings.

But he had sounded a tone all day about the season starting anew, and it sort of looked that way as five relievers pitched the last 3 1/3 innings of a 5-1 win over the Reds that snapped the Dodgers' five-game losing streak Tuesday.

View Full Game Coverage

Although Chris Hatcher did allow an inherited runner to score on Todd Frazier's RBI double, and Juan Nicasio returned from the disabled list to create a two-out, bases-loaded mess, big efforts were turned in by J.P. Howell, Luis Avilan and Kenley Jansen.

Dodgers activate Nicasio from disabled list

Howell followed Hatcher and put out the sixth-inning rally by getting Jay Bruce to ground to first, then pitched a scoreless seventh inning.

Video: LAD@CIN: Howell ends the 6th with groundout

Avilan bailed out Nicasio by striking out Bruce with what Jimmy Rollins described as a "filthy" breaking ball.

And Jansen rebounded from a blown save Sunday with a perfect ninth inning. Coming into the game, Dodgers relievers had allowed eight runs in 8 2/3 innings on the trip.

"The bullpen pieced it together, and that's a place where we've struggled the second half," said Rollins. "It was good for them to get the job done. Luis' last pitch was filthy and got us out of a sticky situation, the kind we haven't been getting out of."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Luis Avilan, J.P. Howell, Kenley Jansen