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Kershaw, Dodgers Look To Take Series From First-Place Reds

(Sports Network) - The Cincinnati Reds found their success at Dodger Stadium short-lived thanks to Los Angeles' use of the long ball last night.

The Reds, who had a season-high seven-game winning streak halted, will look to rebound tonight behind Bronson Arroyo as they aim for their first series win at Chavez Ravine since 2004 in the finale of a three-game set against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers.

The Reds halted a 12-game skid at Dodger Stadium on Friday, their first win at the ballpark since July 28, 2005, but saw the Dodgers hit four homers in Saturday's 8-5 winning decision by Los Angeles.

Johnny Cueto, returning from a seven-game suspension, was drilled for all four homers and five runs total over three innings, falling to 11-4.

"Johnny couldn't find the strike zone," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He lost his rhythm and they started hitting the ball out of the ballpark. We were playing catch-up, but we couldn't trade runs with them."

Joey Votto drove in two runs for the Reds, who had an eight-game road winning streak halted. Their lead for first place in the National League Central was also trimmed to 3 1/2 games over the Cardinals, who beat San Francisco earlier Saturday.

Ryan Theriot and Andre Ethier hit back-to-back homers in the second inning and Jay Gibbons and Matt Kemp blasted consecutive home runs the following frame for the Dodgers, who pulled within seven games of the NL Wild Card spot.

Chad Billingsley allowed seven hits and three runs over 5 2/3 innings for his first victory since July 27.

"Four home runs, that came out of nowhere," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "We kept coming at them and did some good things. Chad was okay. He had a tightness in his calf. That's why I took him out."

The Dodgers activated Manny Ramirez from the disabled list prior to the game, but he went hitless in three at-bats with two strikeouts before being replaced by Reed Johnson in left to start the sixth inning.

The Reds, who split six games at home with the Dodgers prior to this set, haven't won a series at Dodger Stadium since a three-game sweep from May 14-16, 2004, and will aim to do so tonight behind Arroyo.

Arroyo will be trying to win for the fourth time in his last five starts this afternoon and is coming off Tuesday's victory in Arizona. The right-hander gave up two runs on six hits and a pair of walks over 7 1/3 innings, claiming a 6-2 triumph while improving to 13-7 on the year with a 3.87 earned run average.

Arroyo, 33, doubled his career win total versus the Dodgers when he beat them on June 17 with seven innings of one-run ball. He worked around five hits and a season-high six walks, improving to 2-4 with a 4.21 ERA lifetime versus Los Angeles.

Kershaw goes for a second straight winning outing after the Dodgers' left- hander halted a three-start winless skid (0-2) on Tuesday versus Colorado.

Kershaw hurled seven innings of scoreless ball, limiting the Rockies to five hits and three walks while striking out six. He upped his season record to 11-7 to go along with a 3.03 ERA.

The 22-year-old earned his first career victory over the Reds in his second start versus them on June 16, holding them to a run on seven hits over 7 1/3 frames to go along with seven strikeouts.