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After Pitching Duel, Dodgers Lose Battle Of Bullpens To Reds, 3-2

What was a pitching duel between Clayton Kershaw and Johnny Cueto turned into a battle of the bullpens, and the Dodgers came up short, dropping their second straight game to the Reds, this one by a score of 3-2. Cincinnati scored single runs in the eighth and ninth innings to secure the win. Relievers Blake Hawksworth, Scott Elbert, and Mike MacDougal allowed as many baserunners (six) in two innings as Kershaw did in seven innings.

The Dodgers were down two runs in the ninth inning and scored one, but left the tying run stranded at second base as Rod Barajas popped out to end the game.

Kershaw and Cueto matched each other through seven innings. Each allowed just one run, with Cueto's unearned. Each allowed six baserunners: Kershaw gave up four hits and two walks, while Cueto allowed five hits and one walk. Cueto had five strikeouts to Kershaw's four, while Kershaw threw 104 pitches to Cueto's 103.

Dee Gordon used his speed to score from second base in the first inning, on a ball that barely got away from Joey Votto at first base. Gordon then showed off his defensive skills, first starting a nifty double play in the second inning and later firing a perfect strike to the plate on a relay throw to nail Jay Bruce at the plate and keep the game tied. Gordon later reached on a bunt single, advanced to second on a throwing error, stole third, and got an ovation from the Dodger Stadium crowd for momentarily distracting Cueto on the mound.

In the bottom of the third inning, Kershaw had a 12-pitch at-bat against Johnny Cueto which included six straight foul balls and ended with a single to left field. Kershaw's at-bat tied Casey Blake for the most pitches seen in a plate appearance by a Dodger batter this season.

Relief pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo will pitch another rehab game on Wednesday, this time for the Triple A Albuquerque Isotopes in Oklahoma City. Kuo pitched two scoreless innings with the Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes last Thursday and Saturday before throwing a bullpen session at Dodger Stadium on Monday. Chad Billingsley will face Travis Wood in a Wednesday afternoon affair as the Dodgers try to avoid a sweep.

For more news and information about the Dodgers, or on tonight's game, be sure to read the SB Nation blog True Blue LA.