MLB: Cincinnati 3, Los Angeles Dodgers 2

Sept. 6, 2013 at 10:41 PM

CINCINNATI, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Joey Votto put Cincinnati in front with a two-run homer in the fifth Friday and the Reds held on to edge the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2.

The Reds won for the 80th time this season and remained in solid position to earn at least a wild card berth in the playoffs. They began the night three games behind division-leading Pittsburgh in the National League Central.

Los Angeles has lost back-to-back games and Saturday will try to avoid its first three-game losing streak in almost three months.

Mike Leake (12-6) gave up a two-run homer to Hanley Ramirez in the first and then settled down to work 7 2/3 innings for the win. He struck out five, gave up five hits and did not walk a batter.

Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth to collect his 35th save.

Cincinnati drew within one when a run scored in the fourth on a double-play grounder off the bat of Ryan Ludwick.

The Reds took the lead in the fifth after almost letting a scoring chance get away. Leake led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a single by Shin-Soo Choo. Brandon Phillips, however, grounded into a double play with Leake going to third.

That gave reliever J.P. Howell (2-1) a chance to get out of the inning, but Votto hit a 1-0 pitch out to center for the winning blow.

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