Injuries continue to pile up for the Cincinnati Reds, but it hasn't kept them out of the win column. They will try to move 10 games over .500 tonight in the middle test of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers from Chavez Ravine.
First baseman Joey Votto (knee), third baseman Scott Rolen (back) and now shortstop Zack Cozart (head) are the latest players to suffer injuries for a Reds club sitting atop the National League Central standings. Votto missed his second straight game on Monday, when Cincinnati opened this series with an 8-2 win. Rolen also missed the game and Cozart sustained a mild concussion when he was hit in the head by a pitch.
Cozart took a Chad Billingsley pitch off the helmet in the fifth inning.
"I feel fine," Cozart said on the team's website. "I saw the docs and I'm going to get monitored throughout the night and just let [trainer] Paul [Lessard] know. Obviously, I had a little headache getting hit like that. It's a little pressure up in the head. I took the test and everything went well. [Tuesday] I think everything should be OK."
Todd Frazier had three hits and three RBI, while Devin Mesoraco knocked in three runs as well for the Reds, who sit one game ahead of Pittsburgh and 2 1/2 games in front of St. Louis for the NL Central lead. The Reds won for the fifth time in eight tries and are 3-2 on an 11-game road trip in California.
Homer Bailey put forth a decent showing on the mound and held the Dodgers to two runs in eight innings with seven strikeouts and one walk. Aroldis Chapman closed the door with two K's in the ninth.
Johnny Cueto goes for his 10th win of the season this evening for Cincinnati and had a personal four-start winning streak cut short his last time out in a 5-0 loss at San Francisco last Thursday. Cueto allowed three runs -- two earned -- in six innings to fall to 9-4 in 16 starts with a 2.26 earned run average.
Cueto, who has been outspoken over being left off the NL All-Star team, has made five starts in his career against Los Angeles, going 1-3 with a 3.41 ERA. The right-hander is 4-3 in nine road starts this season.
One day after halting a seven-game losing streak, the Dodgers fell back into the loss column in Monday's opener with the Reds.
Billingsley couldn't avoid the setback even though he pitched well, tossing six innings of three-run ball with eight strikeouts and no walks. Billingsley touched on the pitch that knocked Cozart out of the game.
"I had good fastball command early. I tried to throw a two-seamer into Zack and it got away from me. I wasn't rattled. They were just able to put some hits together," Billingsley said after his fourth straight loss.
Jerry Hairston Jr. homered for the Dodgers, who lost for the 12th time in their last 14 games and are 1 1/2 games behind San Francisco for the NL West lead. Los Angeles is 1-4 on a seven-game homestand.
Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon had the day off Monday due to cramping in his left leg and could be back in the lineup tonight. Luis Cruz was called up from the minors and started at shortstop, going 0-for-2. Third baseman Juan Uribe left the game after the fifth inning due to a sprained right ankle, and is day-to-day.
Chris Capuano was also an All-Star snub and leads the Dodgers with nine wins this season. He will go for his 10th tonight and hopes to rebound from last Thursday's 3-2 loss to the New York Mets in which he yielded all three runs and five hits in seven innings. Capuano, who is 9-3 with a 2.69 ERA in 16 starts, was 2-0 in his previous four appearances.
The left-hander has pitched well at home in 2012 as evidenced by his 5-1 record in eight outings at Dodger Stadium, and is 3-3 in 15 career games, 12 of which have been starts, against the Reds.
Cincinnati won four of six matchups with Los Angeles a season ago, including a three-game sweep at Dodger Stadium from June 13-15.