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Grandal, Puig homer as LA drops finale vs. Reds

Dodgers are off to worst 40-game start since first season in Los Angeles
MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers didn't make Mom proud on Mother's Day as they lost again, 5-3 to the Cincinnati Reds, who completed their first four-game sweep at Dodger Stadium since 1976.

The Big Red Machine rolled through a lot of cities like that four decades ago, but this year's last-place version of the Reds has no such cache. It sent to the mound starting pitchers with ERAs of 4.35, 7.00, 5.61 and 6.47. But they were good enough to kick the Dodgers while they're down.

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LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers didn't make Mom proud on Mother's Day as they lost again, 5-3 to the Cincinnati Reds, who completed their first four-game sweep at Dodger Stadium since 1976.

The Big Red Machine rolled through a lot of cities like that four decades ago, but this year's last-place version of the Reds has no such cache. It sent to the mound starting pitchers with ERAs of 4.35, 7.00, 5.61 and 6.47. But they were good enough to kick the Dodgers while they're down.

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The Dodgers have lost seven of their last eight, went 1-5 on the homestand, are off to their worst 40-game start since 1958 (16-24) and head to Miami for a series against another last-place team. The Dodgers hope infielders Justin Turner and Logan Forsythe can return from the disabled list as early as Tuesday.

"I think we are a good team, but we haven't played like one this year consistently," said manager Dave Roberts. "You are what your record is, so it's up to us to prove differently. It'll be a boost to see those guys active in the lineup, in the clubhouse."

The Dodgers hung in there against Reds right-hander Luis Castillo, only for the bullpen to serve up another decisive home run. On Saturday night, it was JT Chargois allowing a three-run blast by Scott Schebler. On Sunday, it was Pat Venditte serving up a two-run homer to Joey Votto for the final margin.

 Video: CIN@LAD: Votto belts a 2-run homer to right field

Eugenio Suarez slugged a two-run homer off starter Rich Hill in the third inning, following a misplay by first baseman Cody Bellinger on Alex Blandino's squibber behind the first-base bag and a spectacular play by left fielder Matt Kemp, robbing Votto of extra bases in the gap with a diving catch.

"I made one bad pitch, a breaking ball, and that was it," Hill said of the Suarez homer.

Video: CIN@LAD: Suarez cracks a 2-run homer to left field

Yasiel Puig got one run back in the bottom of the third, finally blasting his first home run of the year off Castillo. Puig hit 28 homers last year.

"I didn't realize it was his first one," said Roberts. "For him, I think that was a good result and he can exhale a little bit. He might get a little home cooking in Miami."

Video: CIN@LAD: Puig belts his first home run of the season

The Reds went small ball for their third run in the fourth inning. Billy Hamilton singled up the middle, sped to third on Jose Peraza's single to left-center and was squeezed home by Blandino.

Hill, who came off a 24-day disabled list stint on Tuesday, left with what Roberts called a blister with two out in the top of the sixth after making 98 pitches. Fellow starters Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu are already on the disabled list, but Roberts and Hill downplayed chances of a missed start, almost as if Sunday's mid-inning issue never happened.

"Just try to manage it and keep it under wraps," said Hill, whose rapid removal after retiring the first two batters in the sixth provided unlimited warmup time to Venditte.

Yasmani Grandal homered in the seventh for the Dodgers, his team-leading sixth, and they added an unearned run that inning after an error by shortstop Peraza, a former Dodger.

Video: CIN@LAD: Grandal cracks a solo homer to right field

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Kemp, playing better defense than advertised, made a lay-out diving catch of a Votto line drive in the third inning with no out and a runner on first. It saved at least one run and probably two by shortening the inning, as Suarez followed with his home run. The inning ended with a runner stranded at third base.

Video: Must C Catch: Kemp lays out for a spectacular catch

SOUND SMART
In addition to getting swept in a four-game series at home by the Reds for the first time since 1976, this was the Dodgers' first series loss to Cincinnati since Sept. 6-8, 2013.

HE SAID IT
"We'll see them later this year and there will be Turner out there and Kershaw and Ryu, so it will be a little different club. Sometimes you have to hit a club at the right time." -- Reds manager Jim Riggleman, on sweeping the Dodgers

UP NEXT
After a travel day on Monday, Alex Wood starts for the Dodgers in Tuesday night's series opener in Miami against lefty Wei-Yin Chen, with first pitch at 4:10 p.m. PT. Wood takes a ninth crack at his first win of the year, a far cry from 2017, when he was 6-0 at this time on the way to his first All-Star berth. He's pitched better than the record, with a .219 opponents average and a 1.00 WHIP.

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

Los Angeles Dodgers