Dodgers catcher Matt Treanor tags out Reds pitcher Mike Leake after he struck… (Harry How / Getty Images )
After spending six days out of first place, the Los Angeles Dodgers are back atop the NL West.
L.A. used a three-run first inning to beat the Cincinnati Reds, 4-1, in front of a sellout crowd of 53,570 Wednesday to collect their third win in four nights at Dodger Stadium.
With the San Francisco Giants falling at Washington earlier in the day, the Dodgers reclaimed sole possession of first place in the division in their last home game before the All-Star break. The Dodgers will begin a four-game series at Arizona on Thursday.
After being shut out in six of their last 16 games, the Dodgers came out four for four against Reds pitcher Mike Leake before a meeting on the mound calmed things down. Having given up three runs, and with two men on base, Leake escaped the inning and prevented the game from becoming a rout before it began.
Aaron Harang gave up only three hits and a run in seven innings to lower his earned-run average to 3.51 and raise his record to 6-5. Rookie infielder Luis Cruz had two hits and a walk, scoring twice and driving in a run. James Loney and Adam Kennedy also drove in runs.
Shortstop Dee Gordon left the game in the eighth inning after stealing his second base of the night and 30th of the season. The extent of his injury was not immediately known.
L.A. again played without All-Star center fielder Matt Kemp, while right fielder Andre Ethier was also out of the lineup after being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained rib-cage muscle. Kemp began his rehabilitation stint Tuesday with Class-A affiliate Rancho Cucamonga of the California League.
Second basemen Mark Ellis rejoined the club for the first time since having leg surgery in May and was used as a pinch-runner for Gordon in the eighth inning and scored.