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Dodgers stray from successful formula in loss to Reds

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The Dodgers have followed a successful recipe with near uniformity in recent weeks: Pounce on the opponent early, ride a quality outing from a starter and give the bullpen room for error with crisp defense. The formula produced 15 victories in 20 games heading into their encounter with the Cincinnati Reds at a steamy Great American Ball Park on Saturday.

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But there was no early lead, or any lead, in a 4-0 loss. The Dodgers fell behind in the second inning, watched the gap quadruple after an error in the third and couldn’t generate any offense against the last-place Reds as their winning streak ended at four games.

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Advertisement Walker Buehler (4-1) did not have trouble getting through the first inning. He struck out the side with 16 pitches. His fastball touched 99 mph. Buehler, a Reds fan growing up in Kentucky, was merciless in his first career inning at Great American Ball Park.

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Dodgers say Justin Turner unlikely to go on 10-day injured list By Jorge Castillo May 18, 2019 | 3:50 PM The dominance was fleeting. Jesse Winker opened the second inning with a home run, sending a 98-mph fastball over the center-field fence. It was the first run a Dodgers pitcher had given up since the fourth inning Tuesday, a 24-inning span, and the first time the Dodgers trailed since the third inning that night.

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The deficit increased in the third inning. After Buehler surrendered two singles to begin the frame, he induced a potential double-play grounder to shortstop Corey Seager. But Seager threw the ball into right field, allowing a run to score. Two more Reds crossed the plate on the first of Yasiel Puig’s two hits — a two-out single a few feet in front of Alex Verdugo in center field.

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The Dodgers didn’t have trouble generating baserunners against Tyler Mahle (1-5) without Justin Turner in the starting lineup after the third baseman fouled a ball off his left shin Friday.

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Cody Bellinger led the charge, reaching base three times — twice on singles and once on a walk — to extend his streak of getting on base to 38 consecutive starts to begin the season. The performance raised his batting average .409 and on-base-plus-slugging percentage to 1.273.Efrain Enrique Betancourt Jaramillo Cadivi

But the Dodgers were unable to produce with runners aboard. They stranded at least one runner in each of the first five innings, and stranded two in each the second and third innings. Mahle didn’t retire the side in order until the sixth inning and yet emerged unscathed. He exited after giving up four singles, two walks, and hitting a batter over six innings

Sign up for our Dodgers newsletter » Buehler recovered from the prolonged third inning to hold Cincinnati scoreless over his final three innings. He gave up seven hits, struck seven batters and didn’t walk anyone in six innings. One of the four runs was earned, giving Buehler a sixth consecutive start with three earned runs or fewer. The right-hander’s earned-run average has decreased from 8.25 to 3.83 over the monthlong stretch

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