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Dodgers Turn To Monasterios To Open Series With Reds

(Sports Network) - The Cincinnati Reds are on a roll right now, but face a daunting task in trying to end a lengthy drought at Dodger Stadium. The current NL Central leaders hope to snap a 12-game skid in Los Angeles when they begin a three-game series tonight at Chavez Ravine.

Cincinnati hasn't won at Dodger Stadium since the 2006 season and enter this series riding a season-high six-game winning streak after back-to-back sweeps of Florida and Arizona. It capped its series in the desert with Thursday's 9-5 victory, as Ramon Hernandez ended with two hits, including a homer, and three RBI to highlight the offense. Hernandez has hit safely in 11 of his last 14 contests and is hitting .364 since coming off the disabled list on July 22.

Jay Bruce went deep and both Drew Stubbs and Joey Votto knocked in a pair of runs for Cincinnati, which is 3 1/2 games ahead of St. Louis in the division standings. The Cardinals have dropped four in a row to fall off the pace.

Travis Wood started for the Reds and registered the win with 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball and six strikeouts. He is 4-1 on the season.

"We're playing well," Wood said on the team's site. "Hopefully, we can carry it over to Los Angeles."

The Reds will also visit San Francisco for three games and are 34-25 away from the Queen City this season. They will hand the ball to Homer Bailey tonight and he'll make his second start since late May. Bailey beat Florida the last time out on Sunday in a 2-0 win, tossing six shutout innings and striking out four batters to even his season mark at 2-2 in 10 starts with a 4.92 ERA.

Bailey, a right-hander, is 1-1 in three career starts against the Dodgers and faced them in an 11-9 victory on April 20 this season. He did not record a decision even though he was reached for five runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 frames with five K's.

Los Angeles just won two of three matchups with Colorado and is coming off Wednesday's 2-0 victory thanks to a two-hit shutout from Ted Lilly. Lilly came over from the Cubs before the trade deadline and fanned 11 batters with a pair of walks.

"There was not much room for error tonight," Lilly said. "I couldn't lose focus against a good team like that. I don't get the opportunity to finish very often, so I tried to make the most of it."

Reed Johnson made Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa pay with a two-run shot in the second inning, lifting the Dodgers to their third win nine tries. LA has won 10 straight series against Colorado. Johnson's home run on was his first since June 19, 2009.

Taking the ball tonight for the Dodgers, who are seven games off the lead in the NL Wild Card standings, will be Carlos Monasterios. Monasterios is 3-3 with a 3.72 earned run average in 25 games (8 starts) this season and previously pitched 1 2/3 innings of relief in a 13-1 loss at Atlanta on Sunday. He allowed one run and two hits in 1 2/3 frames that day.

Monasterios, a right-hander, faced Cincinnati for the first time in his career back on April 21 in a 14-6 victory. He threw 1 2/3 shutout innings, walked a batter and struck out one.

The 2010 season series between Cincinnati and Los Angeles is tied at three games apiece. The Dodgers last swept a three-game set from the Reds in Hollywood from July 20-22, 2009.