Cincinnati, OH – The Cincinnati Reds will have to wait at least another day to clinch their second NL Central title in three years.
With their magic number at one, the Reds lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 3-1, on Friday courtesy of Matt Kemp's two-out, two-run single in the 10th inning.
Ronald Belisario (8-1) struck out five during two scoreless innings of relief to earn the win in the opener of this three-game series, while Brandon League worked around a walk in the 10th to record his fourth save of the season.
In the top half, the Dodgers loaded the bases against Sam LeCure (3-3) with one out on a hit batsman, a bunt and a walk. Sean Marshall was then able to strike out Andre Ethier, but Kemp pushed across a pair when he slapped an 0-2 fastball into shallow right field.
Juan Rivera had a second-inning RBI groundout for Los Angeles, which pulled within two games of the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL's final wild card spot.
The Reds' magic number reached one earlier Friday when the Chicago Cubs rallied for a 5-4, 11-inning win over the Cardinals, but the NL Central leaders couldn't take advantage.
Bronson Arroyo did his part, allowing just one run on six hits over eight innings while adding a game-tying RBI single in the fifth.
Joe Blanton started for the Dodgers and held Cincinnati to one run on four hits with a walk and six strikeouts. He departed after giving up a two-out single to Scott Rolen in the sixth.
The Reds followed with a pair of walks to load the bases, but Shawn Tolleson struck out Xavier Paul to end the threat.
Belisario has gone 20 consecutive innings without allowing a run -- a span of 17 appearances ... Cincinnati has already clinched a postseason berth ... Reds manager Dusty Baker missed his third straight game with an irregular heartbeat. Bench coach Chris Speier is now 6-1 as Cincinnati's interim manager during a pair of Baker suspensions (2008, 2010) and his current illness.