Mat Latos improved to 13-4, shutting out the Dodgers on six hits through… (Mark Lyons / EPA )
Win out. That’s pretty much what’s left for the Dodgers after they fell 6-0 to the Reds and Mat Latos on Saturday.
The Dodgers now trail the Cardinals, who won Saturday, by three games for the final wild-card spot. And the Dodgers have only 10 games left in their regular season.
They could win out and still not make it, but winning every single game has to be their objective now. It will take a season-best effort to even pull that off. Their longest winning streak of the year is only six games, last accomplished in May.
Back then, of course, they had the best record in baseball. Back then, despite a seemingly inferior offense, they could actually score some runs.
Not now, not for the past month, and certainly not Saturday against Latos, who dominated them from first pitch to last as the Reds clinched the National League Central division.
The Dodgers managed only six hits against Latos, all singles. They never advanced a runner to second base all afternoon. Latos held the Dodgers scoreless in his eight innings.
Stephen Fife, the rookie right-hander making his fifth career start, did his job. He kept the Dodgers in the game, but received zero support.
Fife went five innings, giving up two runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out four and left with a 2.70 earned-run average, though his record dropped to 0-2. Fife has not surrendered more than two earned runs in any of his five starts.
Through three innings Saturday, Fife matched Latos, holding the Reds scoreless.
Jay Bruce changed that with one powerful swing in the fourth. He crushed his 34th home run of the season, sending it several rows up the right-field stands.
The Reds added one more in the fifth. After a hit and a walk, third baseman Todd Frazier singled in Brandon Phillips to give Cincinnati its 2-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Latos continued his mastery of the Dodgers. That is hardly news -- he entered the game with a career 2.91 ERA against the Dodgers -- though the results were. Despite his outstanding ERA, his support by the Padres during his time in San Diego was so weak, he also entered the game with a 1-6 career record vs. the Dodgers.
The Reds added a third run in the seventh when Phillips hit a solo home run, his 18th homer of the season coming off reliever Matt Guerrier.
Things were so out of control by now that Jamey Wright, who had not given up a run in his last 13 appearances, could not get a single out in the eighth, the Reds adding three more runs (two earned).
It was the 15th time this season the Dodgers have been shut out.
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