CINCINNATI (AP) — Getting swept by the Cincinnati Reds isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially when you still have a double-digit lead in your division.
That was Clayton Kershaw's opinion after Ryan Hanigan's RBI double in the ninth inning drove in Zack Cozart from first base to lift the Reds to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday night.
The loss was the Dodgers' fourth straight, their longest losing streak since a season-high eight-game skid May 1-10.
"They're a good team," said Kershaw, who gave up two solo home runs to Jay Bruce. "Obviously, you'd like things to go differently. We had some missed opportunities. Overall, this might be a good time to lose some games, if we're going to lose some, so we can remember what that feels like and see if we can bounce back."
Manager Don Mattingly also found bright spots in the series, which included walkoff losses Saturday and Sunday.
"Obviously, every game was close," said Mattingly, whose team still leads Arizona by 11 games in the NL West. "I was happier with our game tonight than I was the first two. I wasn't that excited about our focus. Tonight was better for me. Our focus was better. We know we have a good club. September games are tough to win. You never know when you get a key out or a key hit. We've been playing pressure packed games all along."
Cozart, who had extended his career-high hitting streak to 13 games earlier, started the rally with a one-out single to left off Ronald Belisario (5-7). Hanigan lined the next pitch past left fielder Carl Crawford to the wall, and Cozart beat shortstop Hanley Ramirez's relay throw with a headfirst slide.
"Belisario is tough," Hanigan said. "He tries to get guys out with that sinker. I was looking for it. It's one of those games. Kind of went the way we expected. A lot of quality pitching, low scoring, but it was an awesome way to win."
Aroldis Chapman (4-5) pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts to get the win, which completed the Reds' first sweep of a three-game series against the Dodgers in Cincinnati since June 12-14, 1992.
The Reds went into the game in third place in the NL Central, two games behind first-place St. Louis, which beat second-place Pittsburgh earlier Sunday.
Bruce gave the Reds a 1-0 lead with one out in the second with his 28th homer of the season and the first by a left-handed batter off Kershaw since June 15, 2012. Bruce's 374-foot fly ball into the netting above the visitors' bullpen down the right field line was the first homer allowed by Kershaw in 58 innings.
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