CINCINNATI — The Dodgers are to the point that they are looking for any bright spots.
They got won Tuesday night, as Pedro Astacio pitched a three-hitter to beat the Cincinnati Reds, 5-0.
What's more, with the victory the Dodgers eliminated the Reds from the National League West race.
It didn't become official until 15 minutes after the game, when the Atlanta Braves wrapped up their second consecutive division title by beating the San Francisco Giants, 6-0.
Astacio dominated the Reds in his fourth shutout of the season, the most by a Dodger rookie since Orel Hershiser had four in 1984.
"He's an outstanding young pitcher," Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda said. "He's confident, he's calm, he's poised, he's aggressive. He was complete with everything tonight--fastball, curve and changeup."
Astacio (5-4) struck out two and walked two. He held the Reds hitless for 3 2/3 innings before Jeff Branson tripled. He retired the next eight batters before Branson and Joe Oliver hit consecutive singles.
"The most important thing was that I was throwing strikes," Astacio said. "It was a good night. I even got a hit. Everything was good."
The victory broke a five-game losing streak for the Dodgers. They scored all of their runs against Tim Pugh (4-2), who had won four straight since losing his big league debut Sept. 1.
The Dodgers scored twice in the first without benefit of a hit longer than 90 feet, loading the bases on a walk to Jose Offerman, a bunt single by Brett Butler and a high chopper by Eric Young. Eric Karros' sacrifice fly scored Offerman, and Butler came in on a groundout by Mike Scioscia.
The Dodgers made it 3-0 in the second when Dave Hansen doubled and later scored on Astacio's single.
In the fifth, Astacio had an infield hit, went to third on Offerman's infield hit and an error and scored when Butler grounded into a double play. The Dodgers' last run came in the sixth when Karros doubled, went to third on Scioscia's hit and scored on a double play.