Zack Greinke puts his hand to his forehead after giving up a two-run home… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)
Zack Greinke took an extra moment to huddle with Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis on Thursday night after throwing a wild pitch to Cincinnati Reds slugger Jay Bruce.
Greinke, confident with his team in a six-game winning streak and unbeaten himself in five decisions at Dodger Stadium, told Ellis he believed he could retire Bruce with a curveball.
"I thought it was the right pitch, just didn't work," Greinke said after his sixth-inning offering was smacked over the left-center field wall for Bruce's 21st home run of the season in the Reds' 5-2 victory.
BOX SCORE: Cincinnati 5, Dodgers 2
"I had got him out on curves in the past … I thought it'd work no matter how I threw it. I tried to be more away with it and it just kind of came back over the plate."
Bruce's home run gave the Reds a 4-1 lead, and the first-place Dodgers (53-48), suffering only their sixth loss in 29 games, brought the potential tying run to the plate in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Carl Crawford lined out to left with two on against Reds closer Aroldis Chapman to end the game.
Eight pitches before Bruce's homer, Greinke fielded a tapper in front of the mound and fired to second base in a superb double play that brought a roar of approval from the sellout Dodger Stadium crowd of 53,275.
But on an 0-2 pitch to Brandon Phillips, Greinke plunked Phillips, bringing up Bruce.
Greinke (8-3) had given up only one run in his last three starts, covering 22 innings.
Then Xavier Paul matched that in the first inning by slugging a solo home run.
"Probably the toughest one through five [lineup] in baseball on a right-handed pitcher," Greinke said. "Made a couple mistakes and they came through."
The Reds (59-44) scratched home another run in the second when Todd Frazier doubled down the third base line, moved to third on a groundout and scored on ex-Dodger Cesar Izturis' two-out single to shallow left.
Yasiel Puig continued as the Dodgers' catalyst, leading off the fourth with a single to center, then taking a big turn that caused Reds center fielder Shin-Soo Choo to air a panicked throw that eluded first baseman Joey Votto and bounced into the stands.
That put Puig at third base, and he made it 2-1 by scoring on Adrian Gonzalez's groundout.
Choo had another lapse on the bases in the eighth, wrongly thinking a line-drive single to center by Votto was caught. Choo started retreating to first base after being fooled by infielders Hanley Ramirez and Skip Schumaker , and was tagged out by Ramirez.
After back-to-back rallies in Toronto this week, the Dodgers couldn't overcome Reds starter Mat Latos (10-3), who scattered eight hits in 7 2/3 innings.
Down three in the seventh, pinch-hitter Nick Punto ended the frame by taking a third strike with two runners on base.
Andre Ethier lined out to shortstop with one on to end the eighth, slamming his bat to the grass.
"You were hopeful to keep those [comebacks] going," Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said. "We talk about trying to get that tying guy up. Our guys are going to keep playing, keep going."