Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Andre Ethier homered and drove in four runs to back another solid start from Zack Greinke, as the Los Angeles Dodgers downed the Cincinnati Reds, 6-3, in the second test of a three-game series Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.
Ethier smacked a solo shot in the second and added a bases-clearing triple in the fourth in support of Greinke (8-1), who struck out 11 and held the Reds to three runs on eight hits over 7 2/3 innings. Greinke had gone an MLB-record 22 straight starts without allowing more than two earned runs.
J.P. Howell fanned Jay Bruce to end the eighth and Kenley Jansen worked a 1-2-3 ninth to record his 16th save of the season.
Hanley Ramirez returned from a three-game absence and added an RBI for the Dodgers, who have won three straight games.
"We did a good job tonight," Ethier remarked. "We were able to get some runs early. It's fun to see the way our guys have been pitching."
Devin Mesoraco drilled a two-run homer for the Reds, who have lost four in a row. Alfredo Simon (6-3) absorbed the loss after giving up five runs on five hits and four walks in just 3 2/3 innings.
Ethier's two-out blast in the second staked Los Angeles to a 1-0 lead before the Dodgers loaded the bases in the fourth following back-to-back singles from Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig and a one-out intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez.
Ethier then cleared the bags with a triple into the right-field corner, and after Drew Butera walked, Chone Figgins smacked a single to right to score Ethier for a 5-0 lead.
The Reds finally broke through against Greinke in the fifth, as Donald Lutz clubbed a one-out double and scored two batters later on Roger Bernadina's single to center.
"Zack mixed pitches well," Cincinnati third baseman Todd Frazier said of Greinke. "You've got to get him when he's throwing strikes. I swung at too many balls tonight."
Los Angeles got the run back in the seventh when Ramirez ripped a base hit back up the middle to score Crawford, who walked earlier in the frame.
Cincinnati chased Greinke in the eighth, as pinch-hitter Chris Heisey stroked a leadoff double before moving to third on Billy Hamilton's groundout.
Greinke bounced back to fan Skip Schumaker, but Mesoraco crushed a 3-2 fastball out to left to bring the Reds within 6-3.