LOS ANGELES — Jake Fraley hit a two-run homer, Spencer Steer added a solo shot, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers 6-5 on Friday night in the series opener.
The Reds moved with a half-game of first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.
“Our team has rallied around one another all year,” Reds manager David Bell said. “They push each other.”
Cincinnati's defense turned three double plays to back Brandon Williamson (3-2). The right-hander allowed two runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings, struck out two and walked four.
“It made the game for me,” Williamson said of the defense. “Not only did it save pitches for me, it saved a couple runs.”
Alexis Diaz got four outs to earn his 31st save.
“It was a very important win for myself,” Diaz said through a translator. “I just had to get ready a little bit earlier.”
The Dodgers had the potential tying run on second in the eighth before Mookie Betts grounded out to end the threat.
The Dodgers closed to 6-5 with three runs in the seventh. Pinch-hitter David Peralta had a ground-rule double, pinch-hitter James Outman walked and Betts walked to load the bases.
That set up Freddie Freeman, who singled to right, scoring Peralta and Outman. Amed Rosario, who went 2 for 4 in his Dodgers debut, had an RBI single.
The Reds took a 6-2 lead while batting around in a messy seventh for reliever Yency Almonte. Steer homered into the lower left field seats. Almonte then gave up a walk and had two wild pitches.
After intentionally walking Elly De La Cruz to load the bases, Almonte hit TJ Friedl on the back of his left knee, forcing in pinch-runner Nick Senzel. Almonte then walked Matt McLain to bring across the third run of the inning.
Almonte had walked one batter in his 11 previous appearances before his meltdown.
The Dodgers cut their deficit to 3-2 in the fourth. Miguel Rojas singled to right, scoring Rosario with two outs. Rosario doubled to center for his first hit. He swung his hips and raised his arms, drawing laughter and a head shake from Freeman. Rosario joined the team via a trade from Cleveland earlier in the week.
The Reds got to rookie Bobby Miller in a shaky first. De La Cruz tripled leading off and scored on Friedl's RBI groundout to second. McLain doubled before Fraley's 15th homer kissed the right-field foul pole, making it 3-0.
“You’ve just got to forget about that stuff. You can’t go back and change it,” Miller said. “The best you can do is forget about that and move on to the next.”
The Dodgers answered with a run in the bottom of the inning on J.D. Martinez's two-out, RBI double.
Miller (6-2) gave up three runs and six hits in five innings. The right-hander struck out six and didn't walk anyone for the second straight outing.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (shoulder) will throw a simulated game Saturday.
Reds manager David Bell received a three-year contract extension through the 2026 season before the game. He was rewarded for helping engineer a turnaround in Cincinnati. The Reds are trying to become the first team in major league history to win a division title after losing at least 100 games the previous season.
Reds: RHP Luke Weaver (2-2, 7.20 ERA) starts Saturday and has shown no ill effects after being hit by a line drive off his left elbow two starts back.
Dodgers: Rookie RHP Emmet Sheehan (3-1, 6.75) gave up four runs, five hits, a homer and three walks over five innings of his last start, a win at Baltimore.