Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez, right, is tagged out at home by Cincinnati… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)
The Dodgers beat the Cincinnati Reds by a mere run Friday, yet sort of went the dominant route.
They used their most dominant pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, and most dominant hitter for the past two months, Hanley Ramirez, to edge the Reds, 2-1, before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 51,841 to maintain their half-game lead in the National League West.
Kershaw pushed his record to 10-6 with the victory but, locked in a pitching duel with Cincinnati’s Homer “No Hit” Bailey, it was far from easy.
BOX SCORE: Dodgers 2, Reds 1
The game was scoreless through five taut innings, and the closest either team came to pushing a run across was in the Dodgers’ half of the fourth.
Ramirez led off with a single, stole second and took third on Andre Ethier's fly out to right. After A.J. Ellis was hit by a pitch, Juan Uribe lifted a fly to medium right field.
Jay Bruce caught the ball and fired home as Ramirez tagged. Catcher Corky Miller went a few feet up the third-base line to catch Bruce's strong throw on the fly, then spun to tag Ramirez as he ran past.
Miller missed the tag but Ramirez – who did not slide – missed the plate. Umpire Alfonso Marquez initially signaled safe, but when Ramirez went back to try to touch the plate, Miller reached back and tagged him on the thigh, and Marquez called him out.
Ramirez made sure there would be no such controversy in his next at-bat. After Adrian Gonzalez opened the sixth with a single, Ramirez lined a Bailey offering over the left-field wall for a two-run homer.
Against right-handed pitchers this season, Ramirez is hitting .405 (49 for 121) with six home runs.
The Reds got one back in the seventh when Brandon Phillips doubled and scored on a single by Bruce. But that was all the damage they could muster.
Kershaw went eight innings for the Dodgers, allowing the one run and six hits. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter. He lowered his major league-best earned-run average to 1.96.
Bailey, who threw his second career no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants on July 2, allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings, striking out five and walking one.
Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 13th save.