LOS ANGELES -- The Reds took the opening game of the series against the Dodgers, 4-1, derailing top pitching prospect Walker Buehler behind a gutty performance from rookie right-hander Tyler Mahle, and the hitting heroics from Scooter Gennett, on Thursday night before 47,383 at Dodger Stadium.
With manager Jim Riggleman already announcing that Friday starter Matt Harvey might only go one or two innings, the Reds needed a strong effort from Mahle, but after he used 63 pitches to get through two innings, it didn't look good.
"I was thinking for a second I was going to be out of there pretty quick, what with my pitch count," Mahle said.
"He was in trouble because they put a bunt down and things were happening," Riggleman said, but added that he was also encouraged by what he saw. "He was really electric with his stuff and he got better as the night went on."
"That was one of the top outings that I've had to grind it out that I can think of," Mahle said. "He told me after three, 'How do you feel? We're going to send you out for one more,' and after that I'm thinking I'm done and he said, 'Give us one more.'"
Riggleman was thinking not just of this game, but of Friday's game, too.
"He had a clean fourth and was throwing even better," Riggleman said, "and knowing that we're going to be going to someone long tomorrow, if he could give us five, better yet."
Mahle not only made it through five innings on 109 pitches, he picked up the win, surrendering only one unearned run on three hits and four walks.
Mahle's performance wasn't lost on Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
"We had this guy on the hook tonight early -- 60-something pitches after two, 80-something pitches after three. He ends up going five innings," Roberts said. "The last six innings, their pitching staff faced the minimum amount of batters."
With the Reds trailing, 1-0, in the sixth inning, having been limited to two hits against Buehler, Gennett stroked a two-out, two-strike double to center field, scoring Jesse Winker and Joey Votto to put the Reds ahead, 2-1. Buehler, the Dodgers' No. 1 prospect, hadn't allowed a run in his last 15 innings and was coming off six innings in a combined no-hitter.
"I've always been able to hit fastballs, and recently I haven't. I don't know why, but it's nice to finally be hitting them again." said Gennett, who added a solo homer in the eighth.
Riggleman noted how important that is to the club.
"It's huge having him back in there hitting behind Joey," he said.
Relievers Dylan Floro, Wandy Peralta and Raisel Iglesias limited the Dodgers to one hit the rest of the way to preserve the win.
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Hamilton still the fastest: On Billy Hamilton's run-scoring triple in the seventh, he recorded the fastest home-to-third time in MLB this season, legging out the three-bagger in just 10.83 seconds. That's a sprint speed of 29.8 feet per second -- 2.8 feet per second faster than the MLB average.
Harvey will make his Reds debut Friday night, squaring off with righty Kenta Maeda at 10:10 ET at Dodger Stadium. Cincinnati acquired Harvey in a trade with the Mets on Tuesday. He had been working out of the bullpen in New York, so the Reds will keep an eye on his pitch count and not stretch him out too much.