Blue in Minor Slump

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Taking to the road is always precarious, especially when one of the stops is Boston. The Dodgers (38-31) played three games in Fenway Park, and couldn’t muster a win, losing 2-0 last Sunday with pitcher Hiroki Kuroda (6-5) absorbing the setback, losing 5-4 on a ninth-inning single by Dustin Pedroia on Saturday, and falling 10-6 in the series opener on Friday. They did take two of three from the surprising Cincinnati Reds.

In the initial game, former Red Sox and two-time World Series hero Manny Ramirez was called out on strikes for the final out. Ramirez hit his eighth homer on Saturday.

The hitting star was Adrian Beltre, who launched a two-run homer over the left-field wall during a seven-run fifth inning. At that point, the Red Sox were ahead 10-3, before the Dodgers pushed over two runs in the sixth and one in the ninth on a Garret Anderson homer.

James Loney drove in a pair of runs, while Matt Kemp, who had two hits including a triple, knocked in a run and scored a run.

Carlos Monasterios (3-2) suffered the loss after working four innings. The right-hander allowed six runs (all earned) and eight hits, striking out two and walking two.

Boston designated hitter David Ortiz, who is coming around to form, drove in two runs and scored two runs.

On Thursday at the Great American Ballpark, the Reds cruised to a 7-1 win, roughing up starter John Ely for eight hits and seven runs (all earned). Ely drove in the Dodgers’ lone run in the top of the second inning.

The contending Reds had pitcher Bronson Arroyo smash a three-run homer in the second inning.

Arroyo (6-3) fanned one, walked six, with five hits and one run (earned) in seven innings.

Ironically, Arroyo was a one-time hurler for the Red Sox, and has gone on and had a fine career in the Queen City.

Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto collected two hits, including his 14th homer, and finished with two runs batted in.

Right fielder Andre Ethier (three RBIs) socked his 12th home run, and pitcher Clayton Kershaw struck out seven with one walk, as the Dodgers romped to a 6-2 victory on Wednesday over the Reds.

Scoreless after four innings, the Dodgers tallied two runs in the fifth and three in the sixth.

Ethier had three hits and scored a run, Loney doubled, singled and drove in two runs, while Ramirez ripped a solo homer in the ninth inning.

On Tuesday, the Dodgers were never headed in a 12-0 whitewash over Cincinnati. Rafael Furcal equaled a career-best with five hits, scoring twice and driving in two for the visitors, who scored three runs in the first and fifth innings, before adding five runs in the seventh.

Ramirez also had a productive night, driving in four runs, with three hits, including a homer and scored three times.

Kuroda worked five innings, striking out eight, walking two, and allowing three singles.

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