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Alex Wood, Joc Pederson lift Los Angeles Dodgers past Cincinnati Reds

By
Jeff Wallner, The Sports Xchange
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood throws a pitch. File photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood throws a pitch. File photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo

CINCINNATI -- At this point last season, Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood was on the disabled list with an elbow impingement which would cause him to miss 98 games. After Friday night's win at Great American Ball Park, Wood is off to the best start for a Dodgers pitcher since the legendary Orel Hershiser.

Joc Pederson homered and Wood allowed one run and four hits in eight innings, lifting the Dodgers to a 3-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of a three-game series before 35,613 fans.

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Wood is the first Dodgers pitcher to begin a season with 10 or more consecutive starts without a loss since Hershiser went 11 starts to begin the 1985 campaign.

"He worked every quadrant tonight," Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said. "His ability to locate and command all three pitches. Very rarely does a pitcher have the command of all three of his pitchers like he's had for this period of time."

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The eight innings tied a career high for Wood (7-0) who struck out five and did not walk a batter in his 10th start. He also contributed a two-out single in the eighth inning to drive in a run. It was his second hit and third RBI of the season.

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"I closed my eyes and got a knock," Wood said.

While on the mound, Wood worked ahead in the count for most of the night and said he only regretted four of his 89 pitches.

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"I always want to be on the attack, it's just that all three of my pitches have been as sharp as they've been together at the same time," Wood said. "My stuff has been consistent and that's been the biggest difference for me."

In addition to his third homer, Pederson also doubled and walked for the Dodgers (42-26), who have won seven of eight while improving to 4-0 this season against the Reds.

Devin Mesoraco ended Wood's shutout bid with his sixth home run with two outs in the eighth.

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Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen allowed a ground-rule double to Billy Hamilton to begin the ninth before striking out three straight batters to improve to 14-for-14 in save opportunities

The Reds (29-37) who were swept last weekend at Dodger Stadium, have lost a season-high seven straight games.

Billy Hamilton and Zack Cozart, the top two batters in Cincinnati's lineup, went 1-for-8 on Friday night.

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"We're having a little bit of trouble putting runs on the board," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It happens. They've been so good at igniting the offense. It's inherent in baseball that there are going to be times when things don't go your way."

Cincinnati starter Tim Adleman (4-3) managed to stick around for six innings despite four walks and being under almost constant pressure from the Dodgers' offense. He allowed two runs and five hits but needed 108 pitches to get through six.

Pederson, who was 2-for-11 on the road trip and batting .198 coming into the game, belted a solo home run in his first at-bat to put Los Angeles ahead 1-0 in the second inning. Pederson doubled in his next at-bat with one out in the fourth.

The teams combined for three outs on the bases early.

The Reds had a runner retired in a rundown between first and second and another thrown out at home to waste a leadoff double by Eugenio Suarez in the second. In the top of the third, Chris Taylor's RBI double put the Dodgers up 2-0, but Cody Bellinger was thrown out trying to score from first on the play.

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The Dodgers needed innings out of Wood and he was able to limit his pitches to 51 through five while allowing three hits to lay the foundation for the rest of his outing.

Wood also snared a hard grounder from Mesoraco to start an inning-ending 1-4-3 double play in the fifth.

"I'm glad I didn't screw it up," Wood said. "We've got guys behind me, Chase (Utley) is right back. It's hard not to react. I just reacted and fielded the ball. I kind of slipped on the throw so glad I was able to get it there."

NOTES: The Dodgers recalled RHP Josh Ravin from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned RHP Ross Stripling to Triple-A. ... Reds RHP Homer Bailey threw a bullpen session on Friday and is scheduled to make his next rehab start Monday for Triple-A Louisville. ... Prior to Friday's game, Reds 1B Joey Votto Joey was presented with a certificate "in recognition of his contribution to friendly relations between Canada and the United States" from the Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Canada's Minister of International Trade.

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