If the Cincinnati Reds can score four runs, they feel like they can beat almost anyone. But when the anyone is Zack Greinke, the almost becomes a lot more prominent.
Cincinnati will go face-to-face with the early season Los Angeles ace on Thursday afternoon when the Dodgers visit Great American Ball Park to wrap up a four-game series.
The Reds are second-to-last in the majors in runs scored through 64 games and are languishing in the middle of the National League's Central Division because of it, but when they manage four runs or more in a single game, their record goes from substandard to spectacular.
Wednesday's 5-0 win in game three marked the 31st time in 2014 that Cincinnati has reached four on the scoreboard, and it improved their mark in those games to 23-8 -- including eight straight wins.
"We have a history here," manager Bryan Price said. "We have a real good understanding that we have players who have accomplished things at a high level here. You saw some of that (Wednesday). Hopefully, it'll be a precursor to good things."
Against Greinke, Joey Votto is 8-for-21 with three solo homers.
Votto has missed 23 games due to injury this season.
Greinke has split two decisions in his last three starts while compiling a 4.35 earned run average across his last three starts.
He allowed 11 hits and four runs in seven innings against Colorado in his last start on Saturday, a game the Dodgers ultimately lost, 5-4, in 10 innings.
He's 5-1 against the Reds, though, and struck out 11 batters in 7 2/3 innings of a 5-3 victory on May 27. In nine career starts against Cincinnati, he's struck out 76 in 62 2/3 innings.
The Reds reply with reliever-turned-starter Alfredo Simon, who took the loss in the May 27 game after surrendering five runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings.
He's 2-0 since, though, and allowed three runs in six innings of a 6-5 triumph over Philadelphia on Saturday.
On Wednesday, Johnny Cueto (6-5) didn't issue a walk and posted double-digit strikeouts (12) for the fourth time this season. The right-hander now has 109 strikeouts on the year, the most for any Reds pitcher through his first 14 starts of a season since 1900.
Votto stroked a two-run double and scored once, while Jay Bruce belted a solo homer for the Reds.
Hyun-Jin Ryu (7-3) absorbed the loss after giving up four runs on six hits with five strikeouts over six innings. Adrian Gonzalez's double in the seventh served as the lone extra-base hit for the Dodgers.