CINCINNATI — The Dodgers’ potent offence got rolling right away, leaving Rich Hill a chance to get a win. The left-hander dominated with a throwback effort.
Hill fanned 10 batters — one shy of his career high — while relying on his two best pitches, and Cody Bellinger hit the last of Los Angeles’ four homers Friday night for a 6-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, the Dodgers’ fourth in a row.
Hill (1-1) gave by far his best performance in four starts since returning from a sprained right knee. The left-hander allowed two hits and didn’t walk a batter in six innings.
He fanned 10 for the first time since June 29 last year against Colorado.
“Richie had it going,” manager Dave Roberts said. “It was fun to watch. Complete control tonight.”
Hill had a couple extra days between starts this time and decided to go back to relying on his fastball and curve to get outs. It was an overwhelming combination against a Reds lineup that came in batting .219, second-worst in the NL behind Miami.
“I really went back to the drawing board and stuck to the fastball and curveball,” said Hill, who threw 64 strikes in 84 pitches. “I threw everything downhill.”
Hill also extended the Dodgers’ stretch of solid starts. Since April 25, LA’s rotation is 11-1 with a 2.19 ERA. The Dodgers have thrown five shutouts, second to the Cubs for the NL lead.
“Just continue to pass the torch, so to speak,” Hill said.
Corey Seager, Joc Pederson and Max Muncy also homered at one of the Dodgers’ most comfortable road stops. They’re 34-22 at Great American Ball Park, the second-best mark by any NL team, trailing only the Mets’ 32-19 record.
Bellinger also had a double, raising his batting average to .410.
The Reds couldn’t overcome another subpar start by Anthony DeSclafani (2-2), who lasted only four innings for the second time in a row. He gave up four runs and six hits as the Dodgers repeatedly hit line drives. Only one of his outs came on a ground ball.
“Nothing was working,” DeSclafani said. “It’s pretty embarrassing for myself, to say the least. I’ve got to be better. I was lucky. They were crushing line drives right at people.”
Cincinnati was blanked for the sixth time, second most in the majors. Only Miami is worse with nine shutouts.
Bellinger doubled and Seager homered in the second inning. Pederson hit his 14th homer leading off the third, and Muncy connected three pitches later for a 4-0 lead. Bellinger added his 16th homer, the second-most in the NL behind reigning MVP Christian Yelich.
Los Angeles recalled infielder Matt Beaty and selected the contract of outfielder Kyle Garlick from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Beaty went 2 for 3 with the Dodgers from April 30 to May 5. The 27-year-old Garlick would make his major league debut.
Infielder Josh VanMeter was optioned to Triple-A Louisville and reliever Cody Reed was recalled, giving the Reds another left-hander for the series.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Garlick, on learning he was getting his first promotion to the major leagues: “I didn’t know what to do. I was kind of in shock. … I’m still kind of in disbelief.”
In his last two starts, DeSclafani has given up eight runs, 14 hits and four homers in eight innings. He fell to 1-5 career in six starts against the Dodgers.
Dodgers: Kenta Maeda went on the 10-day injury list. He fouled a ball off his left thigh in his start Wednesday, a 2-0 win over the Padres . … Justin Turner fouled a ball off his left shin in his second at-bat and left the game two innings later. X-rays were negative. He’s expected to miss the second game in the series.
Dodgers: Walker Bueheler (4-0) beat the Reds 3-2 on April 17 at Dodger Stadium, allowing one unearned run and three hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Reds: Tyler Mahle (0-5) gave up a career-high 11 hits and four runs in six innings of a 6-1 loss at Dodger Stadium on April 16.