Posted September 06, 2013 on AP on Fox
Joey Votto emerged from his deep slump with a single and a two-run homer Friday night, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had another starting pitcher get hurt. The NL West leaders lost Chris Capuano to a mild groin strain in the second inning, when he grimaced on a pitch to Zack Cozart. Already this week, the Dodgers had to push Hyun-Jin Ryu back from a scheduled start because of a sore back. Mike Leake (12-6) emerged from his recent slump, helping the Reds get their fourth win in their last five games. Leake allowed five hits, including Hanley Ramirez's two-run homer, in 7 2-3 innings. Aroldis Chapman, pitching for the fourth day in a row, fanned three in the ninth for his 35th save in 40 chances. The third-place Reds kept their momentum going from a successful series against the St. Louis Cardinals that tightened the NL Central race. The Pirates, Cardinals and Reds are all in good position to reach the playoffs - one as the division champ, the other two as wild cards. Los Angeles has taken control of the West by going 36-10 since the All-Star break. The Dodgers want to get the NL's top rotation fully healthy for the playoffs. Capuano has never lost at Great American Ball Park, going 3-0 in eight games. The groin strain prevented him from trying to add to the total. The left-hander has been on the disabled list twice this season. He was sidelined from April 17 to May 6 with a strained left calf and from May 30 to June 19 with a strained left shoulder. Votto has been having a tough time, watching his batting average fall to .300 after he led the NL at .361 on May 24. The Reds got a run in the fourth when Votto ended his 0-for-13 slump with a single off Stephen Fife, Jay Bruce singled and Ryan Ludwick grounded into a double play. Votto hit a two-run homer - his 22nd - off J.P. Howell (2-1) in the fifth inning for a 3-2 lead. Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was in the lineup a day after he left a game because of a sore left thigh. He singled in the eighth off Paco Rodriguez and was replaced by Billy Hamilton, who stole second, leaving him 3 for 3 in attempts since his promotion. Rodriguez walked the bases loaded, but Brian Wilson got Ryan Ludwick to line into a double play as he escaped the threat. Right fielder Yasiel Puig was back for the Dodgers after a sore right knee limited him to pinch-hitting status the last two games. He had an infield single. NOTES: C Devin Mesoraco was back in the Reds' starting lineup. He has been limited lately by a sore left hamstring. ... Dodgers RHP Zack Greinke (14-3) tries to win his seventh straight start on Saturday. The Reds go with Mat Latos (14-5), who is coming off a complete-game, 7-2 win over St. Louis. ... The Reds will unveil a bronze statue outside Great American Ball Park honoring Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan before Saturday's game. Members of the Big Red Machine, including Pete Rose, are expected to attend. The Reds put Morgan's No. 8 in the dirt behind second base for the game on Friday. Rose got permission from Major League Baseball to appear on the field for the various festivities. --- Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay
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