LOS ANGELES -- Matt Harvey enjoyed a successful Reds debut and Scooter Gennett homered for a fourth straight game as the Reds defeated the Dodgers, 6-2, at Dodger Stadium on Friday. The victory extended Cincinnati's season-high winning streak to four games.In his first appearance since the Reds acquired him in
LOS ANGELES -- Matt Harvey enjoyed a successful Reds debut and Scooter Gennett homered for a fourth straight game as the Reds defeated the Dodgers, 6-2, at Dodger Stadium on Friday. The victory extended Cincinnati's season-high winning streak to four games.
In his first appearance since the Reds acquired him in a trade with the Mets on Tuesday, Harvey coasted through four innings on 55 pitches (32 strikes), retiring 12 of the 13 batters he faced, including two strikeouts.
"I came in yesterday after the game and everybody was saying we haven't lost since they traded for me, so I had to go out there and keep that going for everybody," Harvey said. "No, it was good. It was fun. Unfortunately, I was only able to go out there for four innings because I haven't started in a while, but you know, it was good to get my feet wet and help this team win."
Friday marked Harvey's first start since April 19, but he had been throwing extended bullpen sessions to stay stretched out while working out of the Mets' bullpen. He averaged 93.6 mph on his four-seam fastball and his velocity reached a season-high 95.8 mph twice.
Harvey admitted to some nerves affecting him at the start of the game -- his first three pitches to Dodgers leadoff hitter Chase Utley were balls. "I think the excitement, the first-time jitters were kind of hitting me a little bit in that first at-bat, but settling in good and being able to attack was much better," Harvey said.
The only baserunner Harvey allowed came on a second-inning triple by Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger that should have been a routine flyout. Reds right fielder Scott Schebler and center fielder Billy Hamilton lost track of a high fly ball in right-center and it dropped between them as Bellinger raced to third.
Harvey's next start is scheduled for Wednesday against the Giants in San Francisco. The right-hander said he was happy to be back in a five-man rotation after his Mets tenure ended with a demotion to the bullpen.
"I'm sure he was anxious about it. I know I was," interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "Curious, really looking forward to him being out there, but you know, I was very impressed. … Hopefully, we can build on it. He'll pitch in San Francisco and hopefully carry that kind of stuff out there with him again."
The Reds ran up Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda's pitch count and got out to a quick lead in the first inning when Jesse Winker led off the game by knocking a double off the wall in right field. He advanced to third on a wild pitch by Maeda, then reached home on Joey Votto's RBI single.
Cincinnati added two more runs in the third on a pair of RBI singles by Gennett and catcher Tucker Barnhart, then Gennett padded the lead in the fifth, taking Maeda deep for a two-run homer, his fourth in as many games. With a four-hit performance Friday, Gennett is now batting 11-for-21 with three doubles, four home runs and 10 RBIs over his last five games.
Third baseman Player Page for Max Muncy drove in both of the Dodgers' runs. He followed Chris Taylor's fifth-inning triple with an RBI double against Jackson Stephens, then homered off Austin Brice in the seventh.
"If [the pitchers are] doing their thing, that gives us opportunity for our bats to come alive," Gennett said. "The same thing goes for if we're not hitting, it's kind of harder on them, the pressure is on them.
"It's just baseball, man. Once both of them come together, it's a lot of fun. And with our lineup, we can do a lot of damage."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Twilight zone: The lone blemish on Harvey's outing was the one-out triple he allowed to Bellinger in the second inning. Bellinger made good contact on the 1-0 pitch -- it registered a 103.5 mph exit velocity, per Statcast™ -- but it was hit at a 44-degree launch angle and should have been easily hauled in by Schebler, had he and Hamilton not lost track of the ball as the sun was setting in Los Angeles.
"It got above the lights and twilight time is just really tough," said Schebler, a former Dodger. "I look back up and I can't see, so I'm telling Billy, 'I can't see it, I can't see it.' I look back over, and he's doing the same thing at me. I'm like, 'Oh, this is not good.'
"It's one of those things that's just a freak thing. I've played here enough, I should know that. I should know at that time of night you can't take your eyes off the ball. ... Once it gets dark enough, it's fine. But that twilight time, it's tough. It's like playing in Arizona with that high sky, you can't take your eyes off the ball. You have to run and look at the same time. I should have known better than that. It was just kind of a freak deal that we both lost it."
Votto went 1-for-3 with two runs, two walks and an RBI on Friday. He's hitting .328 (21-for-64) with three extra-base hits and seven RBIs in 18 road games this season.
HE SAID IT
"We just made a switch where [Adam] Duvall went into the game and because Schebler made the last out, he assumed he was coming out of the game, so he came off the field. He wasn't supposed to come off the field. Winker was supposed to come off the field, but he went to right field as Schebler ran off and I didn't even know. I didn't know Schebler ran off the field until Dave Roberts alerted the umpire and I realized then, oh boy, we've got a mess here." -- Riggleman, on the Reds' mishap during a double switch in the seventh inning
Homer Bailey will toe the rubber for the Reds on Saturday at 9:10 p.m. ET as they continue a four-game series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. The veteran right-hander has been particularly susceptible to the long ball in recent weeks; he's yielded nine home runs over his last four starts after giving up just two across his first four. Right-hander Thomas Stripling will start for the Dodgers.
Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.