CINCINNATI — Anthony DeSclafani once again pitched well against Zack Greinke. And once more, the Cincinnati rookie came up just short against the Dodgers ace.
Greinke and two relievers combined on a four-hitter and NL West-leading Los Angeles completed a three-game sweep of the reeling Reds with a 1-0 win on Thursday.
“It’s fun to go against him,” DeSclafani said. “I knew I have to do my best when I go against him.”
Greinke (14-3) lowered his major league-best ERA to 1.61 and allowed four hits over seven innings while leading Los Angeles to its first sweep in Cincinnati since a three-game set in July 2009. He finished with two walks and nine strikeouts.
He improved to 7-2 in 12 games against Cincinnati.
DeSclafani lost at Dodger Stadium 2-1 on Aug. 15 after giving up a home run to Greinke.
The Reds didn’t get a runner to third base until the fifth inning, but Jay Bruce was stranded when DeSclafani bunted foul with two strikes and Skip Schumaker struck out.
“I have to get the bunt down,” DeSclafani said. “That’s on me. It’s not like I don’t work at it.”
DeSclafani (7-10) allowed six hits — three by Andre Ethier — and one run with one walk and six strikeouts in seven innings while losing his third consecutive start.
“DeSclafani was terrific,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “He was always on the attack. I was proud of him.”
Chris Hatcher pitched the eighth and allowed Todd Frazier’s fly ball to left field that caught one step in front of the wall. Jim Johnson pitched the ninth for his 10th save.
The sweep helped the Dodgers salvage an eight-game road trip that started with five straight losses, including a no-hitter by Houston’s Mike Fiers last week.
The Reds finished 1-9 on their homestand and have lost 12 of their last 13 games.
Justin Turner, Ethier and Yasiel Puig led off the second with consecutive singles against DeSclafani, setting up Yasmani Grandal’s bases-loaded, run-scoring, double-play ball.
The double play was the first of five turned by the Reds in the game.
“I always try to get ground balls. I can’t say enough about the guys behind me,” DeSclafani said.
Relief pitcher Juan Nicasio was called in from the bullpen to pinch-run in the ninth when Yasiel Puig appeared to pull a leg muscle while beating out an infield hit.
The Reds turned in five double plays, three hit into by Grandal. It was the most the Reds have turned since April 8, 2003 at Houston. The Reds’ record is six which they did twice, on June 20, 1925, against the New York Giants in a nine-inning game and on May 1, 1955, against the Giants in a 16-inning game.
Reds: LHP Sean Marshall remains on his throwing on every third day program as he works his way back from May shoulder surgery. He resumed throwing off bullpen mounds on Aug. 5. “At some point in time, we’d like to see him face live hitters, but we need to see a little more arm strength and a little more familiarity with the breaking ball,” Price said.
Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw (10-6, 2.29 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday night’s opener of a three-game series against the Cubs at Dodger Stadium. He is 5-0 with an 0.90 ERA over his past nine starts.
Reds: RHP Raisel Iglesias (3-5, 3.93), who’s coming off a 13-strikeout performance in a 4-0 loss to Kansas City last Sunday, is scheduled to start Friday night’s opener of a three-game series at Milwaukee.