Los Angeles, CA – Luis Cruz doubled in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and then was credited with a steal of home, helping the Dodgers to a 3-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
Bobby Abreu had an RBI single and James Loney scored the go-ahead run, as the Dodgers won for just the second time in their last 10 games. They also snapped a five-game skid at home against the Reds.
Brandon Phillips knocked in the lone run for the Reds, who failed to gain momentum after an 8-2 win on Monday to start this three-game series.
Johnny Cueto (9-5) pitched well for the Reds and piled up seven strikeouts through seven innings. He also gave up seven hits, but was tagged with the loss, dropping to 1-4 lifetime against the Dodgers.
The Reds also fell into a first-place tie with the surging Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central.
Loney singled with one out in the seventh, and Cruz then doubled to the wall in left-center. The relay throw home from shortstop Zack Cozart was on target, but catcher Ryan Hanigan wasn't able to get into position in time to make the tag. Instead, Loney tripped over Hanigan's left foot and landed on the plate.
"Johnny just got a couple of pitches out over the plate," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We had opportunities during the game, we just didn't score enough. The big hit escapes us tonight."
Then with Tony Gwynn Jr. at the plate squaring for a squeeze bunt, Cruz took off toward the plate. The pitch from Cueto sailed high, clipped the glove of Hanigan and went to the backstop, creating the two-run margin.
"I was pretty excited when I got to third base, then I saw the squeeze sign on," Cruz said. "I knew Cueto saw me breaking for home. I hope I distracted him. I'm just trying to help this team score runs."
Chris Capuano lasted six innings in the start for the Dodgers. Scott Elbert (1-1) recorded the final out in the top of the seventh to get the win. Kenley Jansen walked pinch-hitter Chris Heisey with two outs in the ninth, but recorded his 13th save when Cozart fouled out to catcher A.J. Ellis.
The Reds wasted a chance with runners at the corners in the opening inning and with the bases full in the fourth, but went ahead in the fifth. Cueto singled to lead off and Joey Votto, who had missed the previous two games with a knee injury, had a base hit with two outs. Phillips then doubled to the gap in left-center field. Jay Bruce had a chance to extend the lead, but struck out.
Pinch-hitter Elian Herrera singled to left to being the LA sixth. Dee Gordon put down a perfect sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Herrera went to third on a balk, and he scored on Abreu's line single to center.
The Dodgers placed pitcher Todd Coffey on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow soreness Tuesday. To fill the roster spot, Los Angeles recalled pitcher Shawn Tolleson from Triple-A Albuquerque....Dodgers right fielder Juan Rivera went 0-for-4 on his 34th birthday...Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs was hitless in four at-bats and is mired in an 0-for-24 slump.