McCoy: Reds swept by Dodgers, losing streak reaches six

The Cincinnati Reds could not vacate the field fast enough, could not pack fast enough and could not board the buses fast enough to flee Los Angeles late Sunday afternoon.

It is frustrating enough to lose six straight games, but it is unfathomable that the Reds have not owned a lead in any of those six losses in a row.

The defeat debacle stretched to six Sunday afternoon in Dodger Stadium when the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a four-game sweep, 9-1. It was LA’s first four-game sweep of the Reds since the Dodgers took four in a row from The Big Red Machine on the same dates in 1975, April 14-17.

This, though, it not The Big Red Machine and it is not difficult to discern why this is happening when one checks the batting averages of five batters in the starting lineup … all below .148.

The ugly numbers: Tommy Pham .038; Aristides Aquino .074 with 18 strikeouts in 27 at bats (four strikeouts Sunday; Joey Votto .118 with 15 strikeouts in 34 at bats (three Saturday and three Sunday); Mike Moustakas .129 and Jake Fraley .148. And Cincinnati’s outfielders were 7 for 80 (.088) during the Dodgers series.

They struck out 15 times and left 11 runners on base during Sunday’s game.

On Sunday, Dodger left-hander Andrew Heaney was a re-incarnate of Sandy Koufax, giving up no runs and one hit in six innings while walking three and striking out 11.

The Reds’ one hit off Heaney was a two-out double by Kyle Farmer in the third inning, but Tyler Naquin lined out hard to center field. Heaney then struck out the side in the fourth.

The Reds, outscored 26-7 in the four-game series, avoided a shutout with three hits in the eighth inning, including Naquin’s run-producing single.

Reds starter Tyler Mahle matched Heaney for three innings. He retired nine of the first 10, with Justin Turner’s one-out double in the second the only damage.

Then came the crusher in the fourth inning.

The Dodgers sent 11 hitters to the plate, 10 against Mahle, and scored seven runs. It was the fourth time this season that the Dodgers have scored five or more runs in an inning.

It began with a bloop single by Freddie Freeman and a walk to Trea Turner. Then the sound of wood making loud contact reverberated around Dodger Stadium.

Max Munoz doubled down the right field line for two runs. Justin Turner beat an infield hit to shortstop. Will Smith doubled to make it 3-0.

With one out, Chris Taylor doubled to left center for two runs and a 5-0 lead. Gavin Lux walked and with two outs Freeman collected his second hit of the inning, a two-run single to center. It was 7-0 and Mahle was done.

Strangely, manager David Bell permitted Mahle to take a severe beating. Even though the Reds have 10 bodies in the bullpen, Luis Cessa did not begin warming up until it was 5-0.

Freeman, for whom the fans chant, “Freddie, Freddie, Freddie” every time he approaches home plate, collected four hits and drove in three runs.

The only negative for the Dodgers was that Trea Turner’s 27-game hitting streak came to end. He hit the ball hard twice, but directly to defenders.

The Reds headed south after the game to San Diego to play a three-game series, toting that six-game losing streak and a 2-8 record that has them firmly entrenched in last place in the National League Central.


Reds at Padres, 9:40 p.m., Bally Sports Ohio, 700, 1410

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